Inditex, the parent company of Zara and Massimo Dutti among others, has announced that it will be closing between 1,000 and 1,200 retail stores in the next two years. As Business Insider reports, Inditex will be scaling back on its retail locations for its brands, but it will also invest $1 billion into its online shopping platforms over the next three years.
"The overriding goal between now and 2022 is to speed up full implementation of our integrated store concept, driven by the notion of being able to offer our customers uninterrupted service no matter where they find themselves, on any device and at any time of the day," said CEO Pablo Isla in a statement. In total, Inditex has almost 7,500 stores worldwide across 96 different countries.
The company hopes that by 2022, online shopping across all of its brands will account for 25 percent of its overall sales. Isla added that the company will also invest another $1.7 billion on upgrading stores to be better integrated with their online platforms by "deploying advanced technology solutions." What those solutions might be, however, remains unclear. The focus to increase the online presence predates the coronavirus pandemic, which shuttered the majority of its stores across the world.
Inditex's statement comes just as analysts have warned that online shopping will be more important going forward. "Never since the dot-com boom has digital commerce been so front and center," Forrester and BloomReach revealed in a recent report. "Digital channels for consumers and businesses have been maturing for more than two decades, but the coronavirus has pushed digital from a supporting function to a primary touchpoint for many."