ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODS, owner of fast fashion chain Primark has announced better sales than expected since stores reopened after lockdown.
The BBC reports that sales at Primark, which is headquartered in Dublin, are expected to hit £2billion by the end of the year.
Primark's four biggest stores, located in Birmingham, Manchester and London, were especially hard-hit during lockdown.
The company has no online sales, so has seen a significant downturn because of the pandemic.
But AB Foods said in its latest trading update: "After a period of store closure, we are encouraged by the strength of our sales”.
They explained: “In the latest four-week UK market data for sales in all channels, Primark achieved our highest-ever value and volume shares for this time of year."
Primark was founded 51 years ago in Dublin, where the company’s first store in Mary Street is still trading.
In the Republic, the stores operate under the name Penneys — the name brand is not used outside Ireland because of being owned elsewhere by American retailer J. C. Penney.
The man behind the Irish chain, Arthur Ryan revolutionised the clothing trade in Ireland, Britain and in a dozen countries around the world.
His first steps in the ‘rag trade’ were in London before returning to Dublin.
In the 1960s he approached the Weston family, the Canadian-Irish billionaires who own Associated British Foods (ABF) and proposed starting a clothing store in Dublin with a simple, cheap pricing structure.
The Westons agreed.
Primark has subsequently become one of Europe’s leading clothiers.
In 2015 the family was hit by tragedy. Arthur had four children by his first wife Rose.
Barry, his eldest, who was 51, died while attempting to save his son and his son's girlfriend from drowning during a freak accident on the Co. Cork coastline.
All three perished in the incident.
Arthur Ryan died in 2019, aged 83.