Inditex has committed to accelerating its international expansion with the opening of 500 high street stores and ramping up its e-commerce offering.
The retailer, which owns brands including Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Bershka, today reported a like-for-like sales increase of three per cent and unchanged net profits of €3.8bn year on year.
The sales increase was negated because of adverse currency effects, to which Inditex is particularly susceptible due to its presence in 87 countries.
It has already launched a Zara website in Greece and is due to open Zara.com in Romania, South Korea and Mexico within the financial year, meaning it will have an online presence in 27 countries by the end of 2014.
Commenting on the retailer’s strategy, Eric Abensur, CEO Venda, said: “Whilst Inditex has regrettably fallen victim to weakening currencies across non-euro markets, its move to refurbish existing chains and build additional stores to capitalise on the successes of its most profitable businesses, such as Zara, is an excellent one.
“The key piece of the puzzle in regard to internationalisation though is hidden within Inditex’s plans to launch online Zara stores in South Korea and Mexico, a move that acknowledges the considerable 64 per cent of global users that currently browse British e-commerce sites via mobile devices,” he said.
“By placing equal investment into the expansion of e-commerce websites and implementing new high street offerings where they are needed, Inditex has made a move to provide relevant services to the appropriate marketplaces. By connecting digital and physical offerings, expanding successful operation and planning sensibly, the company is a leading example of how to properly adapt to the ever changing retail landscape.”
Value of Inditex shares rose by 4.2 per cent to €107.45 in afternoon trading.