Primark to trial click-and-collect

In its first move towards online sales, Primark is planning to trial a click-and-collect service.

The high street retailer has long resisted selling its products online, which meant that when stores were closed during lockdown it was unable to continue trading.

Now, the company has announced that 25 shops in the northwest of England will offer an expanded range of children’s products online for customer collection in-store.

Some 2,000 items will be available across clothing, accessories and lifestyle ranges, with around 40% of these options exclusive to Click & Collect.

Orders will be processed and dispatched to local stores from a dedicated UK distribution centre. This service will be free for customers, and returns will be accepted free of charge in store.

The trial will allow customers who live near Primark’s smaller stores to access a much wider range of items.

“Our average-size stores are only able to stock a limited range and for these customers the number of options available to them will broadly double, increasing even more for customers of our small stores,” explained parent company Associated British Foods.

“This trial will enable us to provide more fashion, licence and lifestyle products to more customers and more often.”

Catherine Shuttleworth of retail consultancy Savvy told BBC News that Primark was seeking to enter the online market in the most profitable way possible.

“Click-and-collect is simpler to build into your existing operation of shops, you don’t need a logistics partner, and returns come straight back into the store.”