Spanish fashion group Inditex, the parent company of popular brands such as Zara and Massimo Dutti, is optimistic about its future growth once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Inditex’s President, Pablo Isla, expects the company to experience a growth rate of 4-6% as the global situation improves. Despite the challenges faced over the past year, including store closures and operational limitations, Isla expressed pride in the company’s performance. He specifically highlighted the strong growth in online sales and the successful integration of inventory.

As of January 31, approximately 30% of Inditex stores remained closed and 52% operated under restrictions due to the pandemic. However, Isla projected that almost all stores would be reopened by April 12, allowing the company to reach revenue levels comparable to pre-pandemic times, specifically 2019. The e-commerce channel has played a crucial role in Inditex’s success, generating €6.6 billion ($7.8 billion) in sales over the past year.

Isla emphasized Inditex’s strategy to transform into a digitalized and sustainable corporation while prioritizing the well-being of employees, suppliers, and customers. The company’s digital business has witnessed remarkable achievements, with 5.3 billion site visits, 15 million unique visitors, and 132 million app downloads in 2020 alone. By integrating its physical stores with online platforms, Inditex has been able to effectively manage inventory and meet customer demands.

Despite plans to close approximately 400 stores this year, Isla reassured the company’s commitment to physical retail. Recent store openings and renovations serve as evidence of this dedication. Inditex has also heavily invested in digital integration, including the adoption of its own IT architecture and the development of the Inditex Open Platform (IOP).

Sustainability is another core focus for Inditex, with 35% of its products falling under the Join Life sustainable fashion line. Additionally, 80% of the company’s facilities utilize renewable energy. Inditex has set ambitious environmental goals for the future, aiming to increase the number of Join Life-labeled products to over 40% in 2021.

Looking ahead, Isla expects online sales to account for 25% of Inditex’s group revenue in the medium term. It is worth noting that the company does not currently plan to seek financial aid from the EU, instead opting to focus on Spain’s economic transformation and competitiveness.

Although employment declined during the past year due to store closures and movement restrictions, Inditex plans to start hiring support staff in the near future, indicating a positive outlook for job opportunities within the company.

Overall, Inditex remains optimistic about its future, anticipating significant growth once the pandemic is under control. The company’s focus on digitalization, sustainability, and maintaining a strong physical retail presence positions it well for success in the post-pandemic era.

Useful links:
1. Inditex official website
2. Zara online store