Primark’s first foray into online shopping hit a hurdle on Monday morning as the high street name’s website crashed.
The budget apparel seller has launched a trial in 25 stores in north-west England and north Wales, for children’s clothes to begin with.
“We’re working hard to address this to ensure that everyone can access and browse the site easily,” the company said on Monday morning.
The website was working well again by Monday afternoon.
Primark was hammered hard during the pandemic, when lockdown store closures led to it haemorrhaging £1bn in lost sales.
While Primark is yet to announce any plans to start delivering clothes to shoppers, its venture into e-commerce has been welcomed as a positive, albeit slightly overdue, step for the business.
With product availability limited to children’s products presently, analysts noted that expanding to a wider range would reap even bigger rewards for Primark.
“However, the new service will undoubtedly suit family shoppers who want to save money and time during the Christmas period,” Louise Deglise-Favre, apparel analyst at analytics firm GlobalData said.
The trial would “hopefully usher the retailer into a new era of modernity,” after many years of the retailer pushing back against demand for a digital presence.
Click and collect will enable Primark to trial a range of products and utilise its existing delivery to store capability rather than investing in additional delivery service, Wizz Selvey, retail expert and founder & CEO of Wizz&Co told CityA.M.
“This will help their teams understand demand and how the sales mix is different in store to online, before investing in allocating more stock to online and expanding delivery options.”
Many of Primark’s rivals provide rapid next-day delivery services, meaning its ability to “give the customer the option of purchasing and collecting on the same day should help boost sales,” Nick Drewe, founder of online discounts platform, Wethrift, said.
Earlier this month, the chairman of Primark’s owners Associated British Foods (ABF), Michael McLintock, said the firm had “encountered the most challenging economic conditions for many years.
Bosses pointed to “sharply rising and broadly based inflation,” plus “highly volatile” input costs and exchange rates.
However, the London listed firm posted stronger full-year revenue and profit compared to last year, benefitting from the easing of Covid lockdown measures.