Primark owner Associated British Foods Plc has announced that it is shutting all 189 branches from tonight (Sunday 22nd March 2020), after cancelling all new orders from suppliers.
Primark stores in the US, France, Spain and Italy have already closed their doors for the indefinite future in response to the spread of COVID-19 – tonight, the UK joins that list.
Worryingly, Primark CEO Paul Marchant has said his chain now faces “unprecedented, and frankly unimaginable times”.
He told the Financial Times he had been left with “no option but to take this action”.
Mr Marchant told the FT:
“This is profoundly upsetting for me personally and for all of the team.
“We recognise and are deeply saddened that this will have an effect throughout our entire supply chain.”
The popular retailer has cancelled all clothing orders from its supply factories, but has said that it intends to honour those already shipped.
Primark now joins a long list of brands – including IKEA, Starbucks, John Lewis, Topshop and TK Maxx – that have been no choice but to close their doors indefinitely, following the Government’s recent announcement that all UK restaurants, pubs, bars, gyms, clubs, leisure centres and theatres are to close indefinitely, which has turned high streets nationwide into ghost towns.
The Prime Minister announced on Friday:
“Following agreement between all the four nations of the UK, we are collectively telling – telling – cafes, bars, pubs restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow.
“To be clear, they can continue to provide take-out services. We’re also telling nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres to close on the timescale.”
Primark, we took you for granted and we’ll miss you. But remember, this isn’t goodbye, it’s just see you soon.
Images via Getty
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at [email protected] Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow