Inditex – the company behind Zara – have soared by 42% to a record €553m (£442m).
While other chains in the fashion sector struggle, Inditex – which also owns Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear and Stradivarius – appears to be recession-proof, even in Spain where consumer spending has slumped in recent years. The company reported a turnover of €16.7bn, up from €15.9bn last year.
Although online sales only account for 3% of overall sales, the internet now represents 20% of the company’s growth over the past year.
Although the company does not provide investors with separate results for online sales, the information has been obtained from the annual reports filed by its online subsidiaries Fashion Retail and ITX Fashion, which have their headquarters in Spain and Ireland.
Inditex began its online retail presence in 2007 with a website for Zara Home before setting up Fashion Retail in 2011 when all of its brands were made available on the internet. It currently has an online operation in 27 countries.
Last month the group surprised the industry by appointing 31-year-old María Fanjul as head of its entire online operation. Fanjul was previously chief executive at entradas.com, Spain’s largest online ticketing agency.
Last month, Inditex launched its Zara website in China on the Tmall platform, a subsidiary of Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce group. Other retailers on Tmall include Burberry, Calvin Klein and Gap. Although it already had a Zara website in China, which accounts for around 8% of sales, the site was virtually invisible to Tmall users.