Primark price hikes to impact Prague location

Prices are set to rise on a number of items at fashion chain stores, including Prague's discount clothing retailer Primark. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.05.2022 14:20:00 (updated on 02.05.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Clothing prices will be going up at Primark, the discount chain that opened a flagship store on Prague’s Wenceslas Square just under a year ago. While sales for the discount fashion chain are returning pre-pandemic levels, it now has to cope with a new obstacle — inflation. As a result, prices for items in the autumn and winter collections will rise in all of its stores, including the Prague location.

Primark’s UK-based parent company Associated British Food said Primark sales are back to normal in the UK and Ireland, but the recovery is a bit slower in stores in continental Europe, which includes the Czech Republic.

Associated British Food CEO George Weston said measures to mitigate higher costs in all of the conglomerate’s businesses – which include brands such as Mazola and Twinings – have been taken and more are planned.

Primark was particularly hard-hit by the pandemic because unlike many of its rivals, it does not have an online shop and had virtually no sales when Covid restrictions forced brick-and-mortar stores to shut.

"Looking further ahead, inflationary pressures are such that we are unable to offset them all with cost savings, and so Primark will implement selective price increases across some of the autumn/winter stock," said Weston.

The chain previously announced it would be cutting jobs in some markets. "However, we are committed to ensuring our price leadership and everyday affordability, especially in this environment of greater economic uncertainty,” added Weston.

Prices on the current spring and summer stock, which has already been produced, will not be going up, Associated British Food’s Chief Financial Officer John Bason told news agency Reuters.

After delays due to Covid, Primark opened its first Czech store on Prague’s Wenceslas Square in June 2021, and it was immediately met with long lines of shoppers. A second Czech store is planned for the Olympia shopping mall in Brno, and should open sometime this year but no date has been announced. A store in Bratislava, Slovakia, should also open this year.

When it comes to higher clothing prices, Primark is not an isolated case. Many businesses have already warned that they will have to raise prices because their costs are rising across the board, including raw materials, energy, packaging and labor.

Clothing and shoes are expecting their highest growth so far this century due not only to the effects of Covid on supply chains, especially from China, but also due to the war in Ukraine.

"Consumers must prepare really for dramatic increases in the price of clothes and footwear not only this year but also the next one and the one after. It can really be dozens of percent," economist Lukáš Kovanda told CNN Prima News recently.

Children's jackets have already seen a year-on-year increase of around 66 percent and women's swimwear is up by 33 percent, while prices for skirts have increased by 25 percent. Men’s clothing is not immune to increases either, but so far they have not been so steep.

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