PRIMARK may open 24-hours-a-day when the month-long lockdown is lifted to make up for lost sales in the run-up to Christmas.

Chief executive George Weston spoke of an unprecedented liberalisation of shopping rules.

This, he said, could give cash-strapped firms a chance to survive after being forced to shut their doors for a month from Thursday, and allow shoppers to spread out their visits more safely.

Primark has a busy store in The Beacon.

Chief Executive George Weston said: “If we are able to trade in some stores up to 24 hours a day, then we can keep people more separate from each other more easily.

“We can keep the stores safer if everyone knows there are plenty trading hours and they do not have to rush on a Sunday into a six-hour period.”

Mr Weston said: “It will give customers the confidence that there will be time for them to do their Christmas shopping on the high street between Dec 2 – I hope – and the 24th.

“And it will allow my business to sell a lot of its Christmas stock. I think it would be a great step forward for the high street to be allowed extend opening hours.”