Primark has had a revenue increase of 16%. Associated British Foods, (ABS), who have Primark, say there's been a 12% rise in total sales over 16 weeks leading up to the 7th of January. The increase was because of Silver Sugar, the product revenue rose by 21%.
Primark's increase was because of sales. Except the operating margins of the company are lower than a year ago. This is due to the higher cost of cotton. Primark opened nine new stores over the last year and are expected to open more.
This is some good news in the wake of loads of shops closing up and companies going into administration. My corner shop, which has been on and off the market for a couple of years now, trying to sell it. Have felt the recession which surprised me as they always get the same custom and their prices don't really increase. It's the cheapest shop in the area. But for now it's good news from Primark, let's hope other retailers start getting better revenues.
And now for the not so good news in retail... crime is up again.
The economy is in a bit of a slump. Some forecasters are saying we are already in a recession. There is also a rise in crimes of theft. According to the British Retail Consortium the cost of retail crime for retailers last year was £1.4bn, yes, that is a billion, people! Many shops and stores are struggling due to the economy and the fact we are being careful where and when we spend our money. We are also hearing about shops going into administration or receivership. Some of these are larger, well known stores, for example Woolworths. With the reduction in sales and the increase in shoplifting, it's been hard for many shops to stay afloat.
The research shows that the incidents of customer theft and burglary are down, they have dropped, but the cost to each shopkeeper is much higher. Shopkeepers are doing a brilliant job of keeping their stock from sticky fingers. Their efforts have paid off. What is happening is a more serious and organized criminal activity. Basically people are stealing items worth more than they did a few years ago.
So, what's the moral of the story? You build a better mousetrap and the mice get smarter.
According to the BRC there is 1.5 to two million thefts a year, an average of more than one a minute. So, next time you go shopping remember to get out of the way of anyone being chased, your life won't be worth to them as much as what they've just lifted.