A statement from Paul Marchant, Primark CEO, on the company’s decision to place no new orders with suppliers

The current situation has been so fast moving. We could not have foreseen that over the course of 12 days, our stores in every country in which we operate have had to close. We have therefore been left with no option but to take this action. We have large quantities of existing stock in our stores, our depots and in transit, that is paid for and if we do not take this action now we will be taking delivery of stock that we simply cannot sell. This is unprecedented action for unprecedented and frankly unimaginable times.

This is profoundly upsetting for me personally and for all of the team at Primark. We have worked alongside so many of our suppliers for many years and value our relationships enormously. We recognise and are deeply saddened that this will clearly have an effect throughout our entire supply chain. We are in close and regular contact with our suppliers and very much hope that our normal trading relationships can resume as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are urging, in the strongest possible terms, governments in the countries from which we source our products, to take action in support of their local businesses and workers, in the same way that the UK and many European governments are doing.