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Inditex talks up logistics and tech investment as sales soar

Inditex executive chairman Pablo Isla cited "investments we have made in the stores as well as in logistics and technology” as a key reason for growth, as the fashion group announced record first-half sales and profit.

The Zara owner said net sales in the six months to 31 July were up by 7% year on year to €12.82 billion, while net profit hit a new milestone of €1.55 billion – a leap of 10% compared to the same period in 2018.

Like-for-like growth was reported across all Inditex brands and geographies.

Isla said: “The investments we have made in the stores as well as in logistics and technology have been key elements in the development of our customer-focused integrated online and offline store platform.”

Central to this strategy is the ongoing deployment of RFID technology, which is already fully operational at the Zara, Massimo Dutti and Uterqüe brands, with the group on track for full deployment across all other chains by 2020. By that time Inditex will have fully integrated store and online stock globally, and it is this particular development which is helping support efficient internal operations and a raft of convenient customer services across the group.

To keep pace with its sales and international growth, and the increased digitisation of the business, Inditex is investing significantly in logistics. It is constructing a digital production building in Arteixo, which will provide a photography studio for Zara.com. Inditex is also expanding its technological and data processing capacity in A Laracha.

Meanwhile, development at a logistics connection hub in Lelystad, the Netherlands, remains on track, and will be fully operational by 2020, according to today's half-year statement.

The group now has 7,420 stores in 96 markets, and its integrated online platform is available in 62 of those territories. The standalone online stores of Zara, Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Oysho and Uterqüe are available in an additional 106 markets without physical stores, and Bershka will follow suit later this month.

Next week in the UK, Zara.com will start selling a wide range of Zara Home items, as the group continues to utilise its integrated platform capabilities.

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