Primark expands online shopping offer as part of plan to ‘transform’ digital presence

Primark resisted any move towards online shopping until 2022 when it introduced a click-and-click trial for kidswear, which it now plans to extend to women’s clothing.

Primark is expanding its online shopping offer with the roll-out of its click-and-collect service to womenswear.

The retailer has been slow to embrace ecommerce, only introducing click-and-collect for childrenswear for the first time last year. The trial was initially rolled out in the North West of England and North Wales before being extended to stores in Greater London earlier this year.

From next week, a selection of around 2,500 womenswear lines will also be available to order online to collect from the 57 Primark stores involved in the trial.

The retailer says these products will include ranges “typically only found in larger stores”, with a wider selection of colours and “specialist products”, including maternity, period pants, breast cancer and menopause collections.

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Last year, the retailer declared a wider ambition to “transform” its digital presence, launching the click-and-collect service to satisfy “unfulfilled demand”, which it claims has helped to drive footfall from both existing and new customers, delivering incremental sales in-store.

Primark also operates a stock checker tool for customers to see if a particular product is available in their local store.

Despite the further roll-out of the click-and-collect trial, the retailer has stopped short of offering home delivery on its products. As a budget clothing retailer, Primark operates on narrow margins, meaning the cost of deliveries may mean it would have to raise prices.

“The cost to support home delivery can’t be supported with our price points,” finance director of parent company Associated British Foods (ABF) John Bason told the Wall Street Journal back in 2017.

In 2021, a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) in reply to a consumer pleading for online shopping from Primark appeared to confirm the stance. The brand’s account claimed its “amazing prices would not be anymore” if it paid to introduce online shopping.

Despite recent expansion moves, Primark does remain “firmly based in bricks and mortar”, chief customer officer Michelle McEttrick asserted in May.