Coronavirus Threatens Supply of Cheap Tat, Warns Primark Owner

By Holly Brockwell on at

Will the carnage caused by coronavirus never end? Not only has Covid-19 affected supply of iPhone handsets – the horror – it's now also threatening to reduce the number of suspiciously cheap bikinis available in Primark this summer.

Obviously, this is a much bigger deal than the thousands of dead, dying and sick people the virus has infected so far.

Associated British Foods, which despite the name owns Primark, gets more than 40 per cent of its stock for the budget clothing retailer from China. It's apparently OK for the moment, having got most of its inventory in before Chinese New Year, but the delays will likely start to cause problems later this year.

According to Reuters, Primark is "working closely with its suppliers in China to assess the impact of the virus on their factories and supply chains and their ability to fulfill its current orders."

The company is looking at strategies including increasing production from other countries to mitigate the shortfall, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, Turkey and Eastern Europe. However, apparently that won't entirely fix the issue, because China makes stuff other places can't, according to Primark Finance Director John Bason:

"There are accessories or whatever, areas like that, that China is very good at that are harder to source from elsewhere... So I’m not guaranteeing that we can replace all of the shortfall from China."

However will we manage? [Reuters]

Main image: DennisM2 via Flickr Creative Commons