Inditex says its integrated retail model driving sustained growth

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at its headquarters in Arteixo, Inditex Chairman and CEO Pablo Isla highlighted the company’s integrated stores and online model which has enabled “sustained growth over the years”.

"All of Inditex’s brands benefit from a robust integrated store and online platform. In 2017, online sales already accounted for 12 percent of the total in the 47 markets in which ecommerce platforms are available, representing annual growth of 41 percent,” Isla said.

Inditex expands brick-and-mortar and online presence in 2017

In 2017, the company’s retail space increased by 7.4 percent and the Group ended the year with 7,475 stores in 96 markets, seven of its brands having entered the Belarus market during the year.

Along with store refurbishment drive, Inditex also focused on extending its brands’ online presence. The group’s largest brand Zara’s online platform was launched in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore in 2017 and in Australia and New Zealand in 2018.

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Inditex also said that during the AGM, its shareholders approved the Group's performance in 2017, a year in which store numbers surpassed 7,400 in 96 markets and online reached 47 markets. Group revenue totalled 25.34 billion euros (29.49 billion dollars), underpinned by growth in all the regions as well as growth in online sales, which accounted for 10 percent of the total.

Net profit totalled 3.37 billion euros (3.92 billion dollars). Inditex added that these results have paved the way for the payment of a dividend of 0.75 euro per share, marking growth of 10.3 percent year-on-year and of 70 percent in the last five years. At the AGM, Inditex's shareholders also voted in favour of the appointment of Pilar López, President of Microsoft Spain, as a new independent director, and of the re-election of Rodrigo Echenique, who is also an independent member of the board of directors.

Inditex to extend “Closing the Loop” in new markets

Isla also gave an account of the Group's “Closing the Loop” programme for the reuse and recycling of textile products. The programme's footprint has been extended to 21 markets so far and he said that the plan is to continue to gradually roll the programme out in additional markets. As the next step, the company will begin to pilot test the at-home pick up service in China, specifically in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai, in September.

He added that this commitment was similarly evident in the use of select raw materials and recycled textiles for Zara and Massimo Dutti's Join Life and Oysho's We Are the Change collections. In 2017, more than 73.6 million garments adopted these labels for the use of the most sustainable raw materials and processes.

At the end of the year, the company had over 171,000 employees worldwide and Inditex paid its employees over 562 million euros (654 million dollars) from its 2017 profits in addition to their base salaries. Of this total, 520 million euros was paid in bonuses and commissions. The company said, a further 42 million euros relates to phase one of Inditex's extraordinary profit-sharing plan which was paid out last April to the approximately 88,000 employees who had been working for the Group for at least two years as of March 31, 2018.

Picture credit:Inditex