FAST FASHION BRAND ZARA REPORTS HUGE GAINS, H&M SEES A DOWNTURN

In What's New, Industry News by Christine Galasso

Zara owner Inditex reported a whopping 13% sales gain, from February 1 to March 12 of this year, and does not show any signs of slowing down.

The increase was due to new, on-trend spring merchandise introduced during that period, which happened to see warmer than usual temperatures worldwide. The period also saw an expansion of its online presence, opening e-tail in India, Turkey and other regions.

In total, the fast fashion powerhouse owns and operates 7,200 stores in 56 countries. Recent first openings include stores in New Zealand, Vietnam and Paraguay, with plans to charge ahead on both fronts. Its popularity and demand for new market presence is steeped in the company’s ability to churn out new styles and trends within days.

Contrary to Zara’s boom, competitor H&M experienced a sales loss of 1% over last year. The loss is significant because it represents the brand’s first downturn in four years and missed analysts expectations of a 6% increase. The slowdown could be blamed on a European downtick, since the company is most prominent there.

Like Zara, H&M plans to expand online as well as expanding its other brands, COS and & Other Stories, which boast a mid-market price point and slower merchandise turnaround time.

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT: RETAIL SALES FLAT IN FEBRUARY
THE RELENTLESS QUEST FOR LOW PRICES