Zara tops pre-pandemic levels. Zara owner Inditex – the world’s biggest fashion retailer – says sales have recovered to pre-pandemic levels over the past month, with the vast majority of its stores now open. The Spanish group – which has nearly 7,000 shops worldwide, including around 100 in the UK – said its recovery after the COVID-19 crisis “continues to gain momentum”.
Inditex, whose brands also include Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti, said sales between 1 May and 6 June were up by 102% on last year and 5% ahead of 2019. Chairman Pablo Isla said: “Week after week we are seeing store traffic recovering. We are seeing a progressive recovery.” That followed a first quarter covering the three months to the end of April, when Inditex said it was still subject to major COVID-19 restrictions which meant it lost about a quarter of trading hours.
For that three-month period, it posted sales of €4.9bn (£4.2bn) – nearly 50% up on 2020 but still 17% below pre-pandemic levels.
Profit of €421m (£362m) was better than expected and compared to a loss of €409m (£351m) in the same period of 2020, but again also shy of the group’s 2019 performance.
“The results have been materially affected by the health crisis, with temporary store closures and restrictions to operations in key markets such as the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Brazil,” Inditex said.
“This demonstrates the true potential of Inditex’s brands – particularly trophy brand Zara, which is in a prime position to benefit from the reopening of retail.”
The update comes after figures from the British Retail Consortium this week showed clothing retailers enjoyed a bounce last month as consumers sought new outfits as socialising in pubs and restaurants returned.
Last month, UK fashion group Next revealed a sharp improvement in sales in the weeks after non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen in April, citing pent-up demand.
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