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Zara owner Inditex sees profits rebound to 2019 levels as online grows 36%

Zara’s retail space in Brussels is a product of careful consumer testing.

Fashion group Inditex – owner of Zara – posted a €850m profit rebound for Q2 as sales topped pre-pandemic levels, driven by a 36% surge in online sales.

The retail group – the largest fashion retailer in the world – reported sales of €6.99bn euros (£6bn) in the three months to July 31, up 7% on the previous high seen in the same quarter in 2019.

Online sales continued to drive the group’s growth across its portfolio of retail brands, rising 36% in the first half compared with the same period in 2020, when restrictions on mobility in key markets including the UK, Germany and France forced shoppers to buy from home.

The company expects online sales to exceed 25% of total sales this year and will launch a men’s sports collection under the name Zara Athleticz at the end of September.

During the pandemic, the global retail group invested heavily in its online platform, while simultaneously closing many of its smaller stores to focus on large flagship operations that could act as both store and dark store/distribution hub.

Inditex now says that 99% of all of its stores worldwide have reopened and is currently operating 6,654 stores worldwide compared with 7,337 stores a year ago.

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