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Overall it expects to see a reduction of 400 jobs across its network of 191 stores in the UK, which currently employ 29,000 people.

The group is offsetting higher costs by slashing operating costs and overheads, and said it was simplifying its UK store management structure as part of this programme.

AB Foods said supply chain problems had begun to ease since last autumn, although it is still seeing some delays at ports and with shipments.

Kari Rodgers, Primark retail director for the UK, said : "The changes we 're proposing will deliver a simplified and more consistent management structure across all of our stores, provide more opportunities for career progression and offer greater flexibility, all of which are designed to help us provide the best possible experience for both our customers and our colleagues.

"We are now focused on supporting our colleagues who are affected by these proposed changes and will be going through the consultation process."

Associated British Foods today confirmed it is on track to launch a new customer-facing website in the UK by the end of March, and across all markets by the autumn.

It said the site "will showcase many more of our products and will provide customers with product availability by store".

Associated British Foods said Primark's UK like-for-like sales were 10 per cent lower in the 16 weeks to January 8 when compared with pre-pandemic levels two years ago

Primark owner Associated British Foods has said around 400 jobs are being cut across the fashion chain's UK stores as part of an overhaul of its retail management team.

It comes as the retailer reported a hit to sales due to fears over the Omicron variant over the Christmas period.

The group said Primark's UK like-for-like sales were 10 per cent lower in the 16 weeks to January 8 when compared with pre-pandemic levels two years ago.

Primark has about 400 stores across Europe and the United States but does not trade online.

The chain is looking to make efficiencies in the management structures across its estate (Image: Getty)

Commenting on the trading update, Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, said :' A strong boost on last year's heavily restricted sales period is great news for the retailer, but there's a sober tone to these results.

'in the final run-up to christmas, the retailer was dealt a significant blow as many consumers chose the safety of their homes instead of venturing out onto the high street to avoid catching omicron before the big day."

'Consumers are now well versed in switching online and as case numbers rose, their self-imposed restrictions were accompanied with a shift to alternative brands that could offer what they wanted.

"With no transactional website to lean on, Primark was left frustrated as vital sales were mopped up by their competitors."

Associated British Foods reported a hit to Primark's recent trading in an update this morning

AB Foods also owns major sugar, grocery, ingredients and agricultural businesses.

Revenue in these businesses were in aggregate 6 per cent ahead of last year on a constant currency basis.

With the cost of living on the rise, it is feared that retailers may not bounce back from the pandemic as had been hoped.

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Footfall had been hit by the rapid rise in Omicron cases, with many forced to self-isolate (Image: Getty)

In September ABF said the business was "experiencing some delays to the handover of some autumn inventory caused by port and container freight disruptions".

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