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Primark to axe 400 store managers to cut costs as sales remain below pre-pandemic levels










Primark staff were dealt a blow yesterday with news the firm will slash 400 store management jobs to reduce costs. 

The High Street discount retailer will cut the roles from its 191 UK stores in response to rising cost pressures and as sales remain below pre-pandemic levels. 

Primark employs 29,000 staff and said it will start discussions with those affected by the cuts. 

Job loses: Will cut 400 store management roles roles from its 191 UK stores in response to rising cost pressures and as sales remain below pre-pandemic levels

Job loses: Will cut 400 store management roles roles from its 191 UK stores in response to rising cost pressures and as sales remain below pre-pandemic levels

Owner Associated British Foods, which also owns Twinings and Ovaltine, added that it will increase prices amid soaring energy and supply chain costs. 

ABF said it would pass the increasing costs on to customers ‘where necessary’. Shares dropped 4.2 per cent, or 89p, to 2042p as it also warned that the soaring costs could eat into its profits. 

Group sales in the 16 weeks to January 8 were £5.6billion, up 16 per cent from a year earlier. 

Primark sales were £2.7billion, 36 per cent higher than a year earlier, but across stores they were still 5 per cent down from pre-Covid levels. 

The company said that sales were hit in December as shoppers were turned off by the spread of the Omicron variant. 

Primark was hit especially hard by reduced footfall as the retailer does not sell clothes online 

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Aldi’s Christmas cheer as it vows to remain the country’s lowest priced supermarket










Aldi promised to remain the country’s lowest priced supermarket this year as it celebrated its best ever Christmas sales.

Chief executive Giles Hurley said budgeting would be the ‘top priority’ for most families as the country faces a cost of living crisis.

Living costs are rising due to soaring energy bills and higher prices of other goods. Families also face higher taxes.

 

Aldi was boosted by customers looking to shake off last year’s Covid-dominated Christmas by buying premium festive foods

The Bank of England expects inflation to hit 6 per cent by spring while analysts have warned that the energy bill price cap could jump by more than £700 in April.

National Insurance rates will rise in April, costing taxpayers an extra £12billion.

The average shop is also becoming more expensive as grocery prices jumped the most in December since spring 2020, rising by 3.5 per cent from a year earlier.

Hurley said: ‘The top priority for most families this year will be managing their household budgets in the face of rising living costs.

‘As the cheapest supermarket in Britain, Aldi will always offer the lowest prices for groceries, no matter what.’

The comments came as the German discounter said Christmas sales topped 2020 levels, which were boosted by strict lockdown rules.

In December it saw a 0.4 per cent uplift from 2020, and an 8.1 per cent increase from 2019. It said it was the UK’s fastest growing supermarket.

Aldi was boosted by customers looking to shake off last year’s Covid-dominated Christmas by buying premium festive foods.

Its ‘specially selected’ range saw its highest ever sales and overall the supermarket sold more than 43m mince pies, 21m pigs-in-blankets and 118m Brussels sprouts.

Sales were also buoyed by it opening 50 stores over the year, bringing its total to 950. Meanwhile, the upmarket northern supermarket chain Booths laid its own claim to having had the strongest Christmas, hailing its best ever festive sales.

Sales grew 6.5 per cent from a year earlier in the last three weeks of December as it was also boosted by shoppers looking to celebrate the lockdown-free holiday with champagne, cheese and mince pie sales soaring.

Mince pie sales were 8pc ahead of Christmas 2020 while champagne sales jumped 21 per cent and artisan cheese sales were up 17 per cent, the company said.

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