Inditex, the global fashion giant, has restarted its operations at its 10 logistics centres in Spain as the country eases its lockdown measures. However, the workers are currently operating at less than half of their normal levels of activity. Furthermore, only three out of Inditex’s 13 Spanish factories have reopened, with their primary focus being the production of medical supplies in support of Spain’s fight against the coronavirus, rather than creating garments for brands like Zara and Bershka.
The decision to allow non-essential workers to return to their jobs in Spain comes after a two-week break to combat the virus. At the Inditex logistics centres, employees have returned to work on reduced schedules, with some working half-days or just two to three shifts a week. These reduced hours aim to minimize contact between workers. Additionally, shift workers are entering and exiting the facilities at different times and are required to wear masks and gloves. They are also expected to maintain a safe two-meter distance from their colleagues.
According to one worker, only 15% of normal activity is being maintained at one of Inditex’s sewing factories in Spain, as the focus has shifted to machine maintenance rather than clothing production. Inditex has not provided any official comment on these operational changes.
While Inditex does not disclose the exact proportion of its clothing that is made in Spain, approximately 57% of its products are sourced from factories near its Spanish headquarters. These factories are primarily located in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, and Morocco, allowing Inditex to respond quickly to fashion trends.
In its recent annual results announcement on March 18, Inditex revealed that it had temporarily closed 3,785 stores worldwide, meaning that around half of its shops are still open. To cope with excess inventory, the company’s fashion brands are offering discounts on their websites. For instance, a Zara oversize printed dress has been reduced by 45% to 15.99 euros ($17.46), and a Massimo Dutti cashmere sweater now has a 30% discount at 69.95 euros. Furthermore, Inditex is providing free delivery for online orders and has extended return times to 30 days after stores reopen.
Inditex acknowledged the impact of the outbreak on its spring/summer inventory and announced that it would make a provision of 287 million euros accordingly.
Despite resuming operations in Spain, Inditex is still operating at reduced capacity as it prioritizes safety and adheres to social distancing measures. As the situation evolves, the company is taking strategic steps to minimize the impact on its business operations.