Spanish retailer, Zara has recorded strong first half results as its parent company, Inditex reported a three percent increase in net profits for the last six months.
Inditex has wrapped up trade for the first half of 2018 on a high, with a growth of three percent in net sales. The company has therefore set a new record of €12.03 billion in sales for the half, with sales growth in local currencies reaching as high as eight percent. The group wound up July 31, 2018 with a net profit of €1.4 billion.
According to the Chairman and CEO of Inditex, Pablo Isla, the company’s strong first-half results can be attributed to “solid sales and operating performance, arising from the unique strength of the group’s integrated and sustainable business model”.
Over the last six months, the company has reportedly ‘enhanced and upgraded’ its stores. It finished the first half of 2018 with 7,422 stores in 96 markets, with 49 of these markets having fully integrated online sales capabilities.
Moving forward, the company plans to further enhance its e-commerce plans with a new stock management system that will reportedly allow the retail giant to fulfil online customer orders with store inventory from each of its branded stores. It’s expected this updated stock management technology will help improve delivery speed while also enhancing customer experiences both online and in-store. This technology is already available in 25 of Zara’s markets and is expected to roll out in all 48 of its markets, as well as across all of Inditex’s brands by 2020.
Further online growth is also planned for all of the Inditex brands in the coming years, as the group plans to sell all of its brands online across the globe by 2020. To make this goal a reality, significant investments are being made to modernise the group’s logistics facilities and technology.
“These developments mean that by 2020 Inditex will be a fully integrated, fully eco-efficient and fully digital company”, Isla said at a store opening in Milan.
This news comes after Inditex recently unveiled new omnichannel shopping experiences in its Zara stores, with its renovated store in Stratford, London housing new technology that allows the store to showcase a new online section, as well as the brand’s usual product categories.
Another one of Inditex’s brands, Uterique also recently launched an online sales platform in China utilising technology developed by Alibaba’s Tmall.
Shareholders have reportedly welcomed this positive sales growth and Inditex’s plans to further embed itself in the world of online shopping, as shares rose nearly four percent in afternoon trading in Madrid after Wednesday’s progress announcement.