The owner of Zara will close as many as 1,200 stores around the world as the clothing retailer tries to boost online sales during the chaos wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Inditex said it would “absorb” between 1,000 and 1,200 mainly smaller stores, with losses concentrated among older shops from brands other than Zara. The Spanish company’s other brands include Bershka, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti.
Closures are expected to be concentrated in Asia and Europe. It is understood that the 107 Inditex stores in the UK are less likely to be significantly affected.
Inditex said that “headcount will remain stable”, with staff offered roles in other jobs such as dispatching online purchases.
The total store count will fall from 7,412 to between 6,700 and 6,900 after the reorganisation, which will also include the opening of 450 new shops.
Inditex, one of the world’s largest clothing retailers, has been hit hard during the pandemic, with sales down 44% to €3.3bn (£2.9bn) between 1 February and 30 April, the first quarter of its financial year.
The company reported a net loss of €409m during the quarter. Almost a quarter of its shops remained closed by 8 June.
However, online sales growth made up for some of the sales weakness, Inditex said. Online sales rose by 50% year-on-year during the quarter, and were up 95% year-on-year in April.