John Bason, CFO of Associated British Foods who owns Primark on why they will forgo the launch of an ecommerce site:
"This is not a profitable avenue for us.”
For a retailer known for selling $10 jeans and $3.50 t-shirts, this is understandable. Primark has over 270 stores in the UK and still no ecommerce presence. The high cost of fulfillment direct to the customer and 2-5x higher return rates of online do make the channel much less profitable.
However, the retailers and etailers that excel in ecommerce realize the convenience online shopping provides for consumers. That convenience often leads to a willingness for higher prices. And given that Primark ONLY sells exclusive private label merchandise, consumers are likely willing to pay higher prices, purchase in bundles and forgo the option to return. Primark is forgoing ecommerce today, but I'm sure they are constantly reevaluating this stance as customers see ecommerce as a foregone conclusion.