Inditex, the owner of Zara, have said online sales surged 95% in April as its stores were closed during the coronavirus lockdown in much of Europe.
The company has also said it expects part of this shift to be permanent, with a quarter of sales expected to be online in 2022.
The forced digital conversion of retailers has been a predicted effect of the lockdown but it is interesting to see Zara confirm their strategy and provide some interesting figures to confirm this.
“Lockdown is accelerating existing trends, forcing retailers to acknowledge the digital age has dawned,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, from stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown.
The Zara owners were already working towards improving their online capabilities but the lockdown has ushered in a new urgency.
“Inditex said it wouldspend €900m a year for the next three years on big, centralised stores and its online platform. It will close more than 1,000 smaller stores in the process.”
The change is yet another massive challenge for our already troubled high streets and we need to think fast how we reuse these spaces.
The increase in the proportion of digital sales for almost all online retailers will present new challenges for brands to understand & new logistical problems to solve.
Data from Similar Web Pro shows there has been a 22% increase in traffic to UK Fashion/Apparel websites in the past month and traffic is starting to return to “pre-COVID” levels. Good news for some and a new challenge for the more traditional high street brands.