Zara Owner Is Closing 1,200 Stores Worldwide
The brand will boost its digital presence instead.
Inditex, the biggest fashion retailer in the world, and the parent company of Zara announced that it plans to shut down 1,200 of its stores across the globe, concentrating in Asia and Europe. This follows news that the Spanish fashion retailer, which also owns brands like Pull&Bear and Bershka among others, reported its first-ever quarterly loss, which chalked up to U.S. $465 million that covered February through April.
According to the conglomerate’s financial report, the loss came despite the jump in online sales, which increased by 50% in Q1 and by 95% in April alone. CNBC reports that the net loss is attributed to its provision of 308 million euros for its store optimization program until 2021.
In light of the financial woes and the uncertainty that looms amid the pandemic, Inditex also announced its plans for reorganization, which includes the said store optimization program. Technology will be at the forefront of Inditex brands. The company has earmarked over 2.7 billion euros to boost online retail and to integrate it with their brick-and-mortar stores.
“Each store, whether online or physical, will become a sustainability hub: They will use less and renewable energy, eliminate single-use plastic, recycle all materials and foster the reuse of all garments,” states the report.
There will also be an app that allows the customer to browse a store’s on-hand items, reserve a changing room, find clothes via a store map, and even do self-checkout, according to Reuters. Online sales are expected to account for over 25% of the total sales by 2022.
Inditex isn’t exempt from the pandemic’s financial distress. Retailers Neiman Marcus and J.Crew recently filed for bankruptcy. Many brands have also started to reassess their strategies with a focus on digital innovation.
this strange new world.