Primark have addressed rumours that the budget fashion chain are set to reopen a number of high street stores.

It comes amid increased speculation on social media that the company would return 'within days'.

Like other retailers, Primark closed its stores in March when the lockdown began, but unlike several other companies, Primark doesn't have a website in order to keep trading.

During the closure, store managers have been working behind the scenes to prepare the shops for reopening, and carry out vital health and safety checks in order to keep staff and shoppers safe.

What have Primark said?

“Nothing matters more to us than the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers.

"That is why we will only reopen our stores in the UK once we are convinced that it is safe and right to do so.

"We are closely following all safety advice from government and will treat this as the minimum standard across all our stores," a spokesman for the chain told Mirror Money.

Primark boss: 'We won't launch online'

In April, the owner of budget fashion firm Primark, George Weston - chief executive of parent company AB Foods - said 68,000 staff have been furloughed across Europe amid the coronavirus lockdown as it revealed a £248 million hit for unsold stock as all its stores remain shut.

However, Mr Weston said the company would not launch online in a bid to shift stock it has been unable to sell.

He told PA in April: “We will sell that stock in stores but it might take a while.

“It might be in a year’s time but it’s not going to deteriorate and we will just have to wait until we can open stores again safely.

“I think this is the cost of Covid rather than not having online operations.”

Primark pays additional money to suppliers

Primark revealed last month it had agreed to pay an additional £370 million to suppliers to cover stock currently in production or yet to be delivered after facing criticism over order cancellations during the coronavirus crisis.

The fashion chain said the deal will cover products which were in production or due for shipment by April 17, having previously committed to pay for orders which were in transit or booked for delivery by March 18.

Mr Weston said: “Much as I would love to be allowed to reopen Primark stores across the UK, continental Europe and the USA soon, because lockdown has so harmed our business and our supply chains, I know that we must not do so until we have suppressed this disease.

“When we are allowed to reopen we must make our Primark stores safe for our staff and our customers, even if that means ensuring there are fewer people shopping at any one time and so accepting lower sales at least until the remaining risk is minimal.

“In time, we can rebuild the profits. We can’t replace the people we lose.”