South African retailer Truworths, the owner of UK footwear chain Office, is to launch a new budget clothing brand which will be rolled out in 15 of its stores in an attempt to cater to evolving shopping habits following the Covid outbreak.

The budget brand will be called Primark, though it has no connection to Associated British Foods’ (ABF) Primark.

Truworths said Primark will be positioned as a youthful, fashionable, commercial, aspirational value-brand and that it represents “good quality at great value, highly competitive prices yet reasonable margins.”

It will be strategically aligned with suppliers that can respond and react with short lead times.

Meanwhile, in its most recent financial update for the 26 weeks ending 27 December, Truworths saw sale of merchandise fall 9% year-on-year to ZAR9.4bn (US$631m). Headline earnings per share fell 7% to ZAR337 cents.

Office alone saw profit before tax dive 66% to GBP3.6m, while sales were 25% lower year-on-year to GBP114.2m. Office store sales which were severely impacted by national lockdowns fell 53%.