// Inditex posts first quarterly loss as Covid-19 restrictions forced it to shut almost 90% of stores
// The drop in sales had slowed, with sales at constant currencies falling 34% in June
Zara owner Inditex has recorded its first quarterly loss as Covid-19 restrictions forced it to shut almost 90 per cent of stores in the three months from February to April.
Inditex made a loss of €409 million (£358 million) between February 1 and April 30, as up to 88 per cent of its bricks-and-mortar store estate was shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales tumbled to €3.3 billion (£2.8 billion), down from €5.9 billion (£5.1 billion) in the same period a year earlier.
The group, which also owns Massimo Dutti and Bershka, said the drop in sales had slowed, with sales at constant currencies falling 34 per cent in June, compared to a year earlier versus a 51 per cent slide in May.
In regions where stores remain open, sales were down 16 per cent during June 2-8.
The Spanish retail group said it expected stores in all key markets to open by the end of June.
As of June 8, 5743 stores of Inditex’s 7412 were open, across 72 markets.
Online sales had skyrocketed by 95 per cent in April, when stores remained closed.
Inditex said it would invest €900 million (£790 million) a year in the next three years to accelerate its strategy of focusing on large stores in prime shopping areas and in its online business, while closing 1000 to 1200 of its smaller stories in 2020 and 2021.
It said it expected online sales to account for more than a quarter of business by 2022, compared to 14 per cent now, while total shop floor space would grow by about 2.5 per cent a year during the 2020-2022 period with its focus on larger stores.