Spanish chain takes the lead over former #1 The Gap.
Zara has just surpassed The Gap, to become the biggest fashion retailer in the world. To put that in perspective The Gap has 3,100 stores and 150,000 employees around the world, but the US economic downturn has allowed the Spanish firm to take the lead.
We like the Zara at the IFC Mall, but that is only one of the 6 stores they have in Hong Kong, 1 in Macau and there are 8 in Mainland China:
Inditex, Zara’s parent company, recorded a 9% increase in sales to €2.22bn (£1.7bn) in the first quarter of its financial year. It also benefited from the strength of the euro to edge ahead of Gap which saw its revenues fall by 10% and recorded sales of €2.17bn in the same period. The difference may be tiny, but Inditex claims it is significant: for the first time the Spanish group has inched past its American rival.
The group, whose high street store brand Zara has led the charge, hopes to consolidate its lead over rivals later in the year as it continues to expand overseas in spite of the economic downturn. It is three years since Inditex overtook H&M, to become the biggest clothing retailer in Europe. But the rapid growth is nothing new to a company which first started in 1963 in the bedroom of chairman Amancio Ortega’s home in Galicia, northwest Spain, making bathrobes.
Other shops followed swiftly in New York in 1989, Paris in 1990. Now the group has nearly 3,900 stores in 70 countries around the world. Inditex has managed to get so far, so fast largely through the use of innovative management and logistics techniques, which have now become the subject of studies in business schools around the world.
Read the rest here or use the Zara store locator here.