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ARTEIXO – Sales jumped by ten per cent at the world’s largest fashion retailer, Inditex, in the first nine months of 2017, to €17.96bn. The results come at a time when the Spanish clothing giant’s closest rivals have announced disappointing results. H&M saw sales fall in Q4 and will be closing more stores than it opens moving forwards, amid a general plateauing of revenue growth across the broader fast fashion sector.

Net profit at Inditex for the first nine months of the fiscal year registered growth of 6 per cent to €2.3bn. Store and online sales increased by 13 per cent in local currencies between 1 November and 11 December 2017. Net sales rose by 10 per cent in the first nine months of fiscal 2017 – from 1 February to 31 October – on top of growth of 11 per cent recorded in the same period of 2016, to €17.96bn. Net profit was €2.3bn, with year-on-year growth of 6 per cent.

Inditex, which owns the Zara brand, appears to have stolen a march on its competitors through a series of strategic innovations which have seen the business continue to develop its integrated offline-online platform. The company has now rolled out same-day delivery in six cities and next-day delivery in six markets, including Spain, France, the UK and China. The company is also deploying automated in-store pick-up points for online orders, displaying the kind of progressive, customer centric approach which is seeing Amazon grab apparel market share at a rapid rate of knots.

Commenting on the online-offline model, the Inditex chairman and CEO, Pablo Isla, highlighted the, “increasingly integrated management of the platform, which is translating into value-added customer services.” Isla highlighted services such as same day and next day delivery. He also remarked on the simultaneous offline and online transition between collections, both between seasons and every fortnight when the various collections are refreshed.

In line with its strategic goal to achieve a circular economy model, Inditex also continued to roll out its used-clothing collection programme in collaboration with various international NGOs. This programme is now operational in 562 stores in eight countries (Spain, Portugal, the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, China and Sweden). Planning is in progress for implementation of the scheme in another 22 markets, with pilot tests underway in some of these, including Austria (four stores) and Canada (13 stores).

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