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LA CORUÑA – Inditex, the owner of Spanish brand Zara, has announced that online sales rose by 95 per cent in April as its stores were closed during the coronavirus lockdown in much of Europe. The figures illustrate the extent of the shift to online purchasing during lockdown and, most significantly, the company said it expected part of this shift to be permanent, with a quarter of sales expected to be online by 2022.

Despite this upturn, Inditex – the world’s largest apparel retailer – announced its first-ever quarterly loss as sales overall tanked. Sales fell to €3.3bn for the first three months of the year, down from €5.9bn a year earlier. This led to a quarterly loss of €409m for the company, which also owns the Bershka and Pull & Bear brands.

Group executive chairman Pablo Isla chose the announcement to unveil the Group’s plan for 2020-2022, providing a glimpse into the future at Inditex, shaped by capital expenditure of €1bn to boost online and an additional €1.7bn to further integrate the store platform

Inditex’s proprietary digital platform, which will be completed during the period, is described as a “tailor-made IT architecture for the integrated store and online business model.”

Inditex also said it will broaden and complete its store technology upgrade plan, which will continue the policy of opening larger stores and absorbing smaller units

Pablo Isla said: “Our priority through the crisis has been and continues to be the health and safety of our people and our customers. I would like to publicly thank all of our people for their tremendous commitment throughout the global health crisis and during the gradual return to our stores and operating facilities. I would like to highlight how they have consistently followed the appropriate protocols, which has delivered a consistent message of responsibility. As we have always said, people is what really matters for Inditex, beyond any other consideration, and I believe that the current situation we are living, prove it so.”

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