Price of Primark clothes ‘will not rise despite inflationary pressures’

John Bason, finance director of ABF, told the PA news agency that shoppers will not pay more for clothes from its retail arm.

Henry Saker-Clark
Monday 13 September 2021 12:40
A customer carries bags of shopping as they leave Primark in Oxford Street (Victoria Jones/PA)
A customer carries bags of shopping as they leave Primark in Oxford Street (Victoria Jones/PA)

The price of Primark clothes will not increase despite rising costs in the supply chain, the finance boss of owner Associated British Foods has said.

John Bason, finance director of ABF, told the PA news agency that shoppers will not pay more for its clothes but there are likely to be price rises within its food business.

The company, which owns grocery brands including Twinings Kingsmill and Ryvita, said it has seen significant pressure on pricing in its food operation, highlighting that this has pushed the price of its Mazola oil higher.

ABF said Primark has also seen inflationary pressure as “port and container freight disruption” has caused supply issues when transporting its products made in Asia and other regions.

Primark won’t be affected by price rises, but our food businesses have seen a lot of inflation so this is different in this area of the company

John Bason

The consumer giant said it is experiencing “some delays” to the stock of autumn/winter season inventory as a result.

However, Mr Bason said the group has “no worries” about stock levels for Christmas and this is not expected to impact upon customers.

“There has been supply chain disruption but our team has worked incredibly hard to mitigate this so I don’t anticipate this being an issue for customers,” he said.

“We are definitely seeing a lot of inflationary pressures in different parts of our supply chain, but there is absolutely no intention to put prices up in Primark because of it.

“Lower staff costs and operating costs have helped us to offset this.”

Last week, homeware retailer Dunelm said it has already increased the price of some products after seeing costs climb higher.

Mr Bason said the group’s food operation has largely avoided the impact of wider labour and driver issues but said commodity prices have affected some products.

“Primark won’t be affected by price rises, but our food businesses have seen a lot of inflation so this is different in this area of the company,” he said.

“For example, corn prices have risen heavily so our Mazola corn oil has gone up in price.

“We have had to accept that there will be increases in food prices but will continue to do what we can to mitigate the impact on customers.”

The price warning came as the group upgraded its profit guidance but said that recent Primark sales have been below expectations after Covid isolation affected customer sentiment in July.