Primark CEO: people believing in permanent e-commerce shift are naive

The company conducted its own research on what happened to its retail business throughout the isolation

Primark CEO

Primark CEO: people believing in permanent e-commerce shift are naive. Source:

CEO of Irish fashion retailer Primark, Paul Marchant, disagrees with claims that COVID-19 has forced shoppers to continually shop online, Ecommerce News report. He calls people who claim there is an inevitable and permanent shift to e-commerce “wrong and naive.”

The Primark study found that shoppers show civic pride and genuinely care about the cities they live in. The company asked where the identity of people mainly originates from, and the main answer was their village, town, or city. This means that the city-state affects how people relate to themselves.

Also, he detected that people measure this decline by the number of shops boarded up. For a major group of people, shops play an important role in their lives – like a social event or physical experience.

He believes supporting offline stores should be a top priority when leveling up. The retailer says that for any government looking to upgrade city centers, every time a store closes, an alarm should ring in Whitehall. One of his proposals to preserve retail is the introduction of a “zero VAT” period after the vaccine was introduced to kickstart the development of the main street.

Last October, the UK saw a record third-quarter growth in retail sales. Retail sales were up 1.5% in September and were 4.7% higher than a year when the coronavirus didn’t exist. Retail sales in the UK exceeded expectations and all prognosis of an economists survey by Reuters.

However, data from the UK Office for National Statistics apparently show that customers continue to actively shop online. In January and February of 2020, e-commerce sales accounted for about 20% of total retail sales, but this figure increased to 32.8% in May. Meanwhile, in October, it was still at 28.1%.

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