After An Insanely Profitable Year, Zara's Parent Company Focuses on Online Growth

They are literally printing money over there.
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Chantal Fernandez
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They are literally printing money over there.
Zara spring 2016 campaign. Photo: Zara

Zara spring 2016 campaign. Photo: Zara

We already knew Spanish retail company Inditex had a crazy profitable year — it made over $1 billion in the fall alone — but now the 2015 results are in. In the year leading up to Jan. 31, the global company's sales increased 15 percent to €20.9 billion (about $23 billion), resulting in net income of €2.9 billion (roughly $3.2 billion). Onwards and upwards. 

Sales for Zara, the heavyweight of Inditex's brands, increased 17.5 percent over the previous year thanks in no small part to the 79 new stores it opened last year, bringing its global locations to 2,002. And Inditex is sticking to the strategy it has employed over the past couple of very profitable years — investing in massive flagship locations and online stores, instead of opening stores at Swedish competitor H&M's breakneck pace. After opening a total of 330 stores in 2015 across all its brands, Inditex plans to open up to 460 in the coming year and "absorb" (read: close) up to 120 small shops into nearby locations. 

A significant goal for the year ahead, however, is to bring all Inditex brands online in all of Europe and Turkey, the two of which currently account for 61.7 percent of sales and decreased 3.3 percent from 2014. Last year Inditex launched Zara.com in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau; sales in Asia, consequently, grew 2.4 percent.