High-street stalwart Primark is expanding its omnichannel offering as it adds a selection of womenswear to its trial click-and-collect service.

The service will be available in 57 stores across the UK from 13 September, allowing customers to shop the company’s online-only kids, baby, nursery and womenswear collections and selected in-store ranges for in-store collection.

Primark made its first foray into e-commerce in 2022 following the launch of its UK website in April. Analysts were broadly optimistic about the move, expecting it to drive higher footfall and allow for the sale of bulkier items.

Louise Déglise-Favre, apparel analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData, said at the time that the trial would “help future-proof the retailer in an increasingly digital world”.

She added: “Consumers have long demanded Primark fully embrace digital retail, and its click-and-collect service is highly likely to be successful as 76.6% of [2,000] UK consumers surveyed by GlobalData in February 2022 stated that they would purchase from Primark online even if it only offered click and collect as a fulfilment option.”

Now, it appears that the omnichannel strategy is bearing results, as Associated British Foods (ABF), the owner of Primark, records growing sales. Like-for-like sales were up 7% at Primark in the three months ending 27 May, and ABF expects adjusted operating profit to be slightly ahead of the £1.4bn it made last year.

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However, across the wider retail market, omnichannel adoption appears to be slowing, as market challenges cause many businesses to deprioritise omnichannel functionalities in favour of cost-cutting and better use of existing technologies.

Mentions of the omnichannel theme in retail company filings have also reached a five-year low in 2023, according to GlobalData’s analytics.

OSF’s Omnichannel Retail Index 2023 report found that since the pandemic-induced e-commerce craze, “the pendulum has swung back toward physical stores”, with just 49% of brands offering curbside pickup, compared to 73% in 2021. Buy online, pickup in-store also fell, from a peak of 86% of benchmarked companies in 2021 to 82% of companies currently.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.