Can anything stop Inditex? Not at the moment it seems. The Zara owner said this morning that its profits rose by 20% in the nine-months to the end of October and that the Christmas shopping season has got off to a good start.
You bet it has. Sales from November 1 to December 3 have risen 15% in a Christmas shopping season generally seen as tough.
That’s no surprise. Take star brand Zara. The offer this year has tapped perfectly into key themes including boho, minimalism and gender-neutral. It’s currently got a strong party offer, as well as plenty of accessories key items and regular daywear that’s just right for the weather, that looks cool, but that could also pass muster in the most conservative of offices (if you wanted it to).
So what are the actual figures? Profits of €2.02bn in the nine months defied the weather (a dull summer depressing warm weather clothing sales in some markets and a warm autumn too that crimped knit and coat sales). Revenue rose 16.6% to €14.7bn as it opened 230 new stores. But comp sales were “solid” too.
One weak point – the gross margin slipped to 58.8% from 59.4%, probably on the back of the strong US dollar that increased supplier costs in Asia. That said, with Inditex sourcing more goods close-to-home than the average fashion retail mega-giant, the effect was likely to be less severe than it might for its retail peers.
So tune in next time when Inditex releases yet another set of stellar results … it (almost) makes you wish they’d not do so well as at least there would be something different to write about!