Retail giant Inditex has eye on East Asian market

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Spain's leading fashion retailer Inditex announced Tuesday that it will concentrate on opening stores in the fast-growing East Asian market this year, including inaugurating its first store in South Korea.

13 February 2008

MADRID - Spain's leading fashion retailer Inditex announced Tuesday that it will concentrate on opening stores in the fast-growing East Asian market this year, including inaugurating its first store in South Korea.

In a note to regulators ahead of releasing full-year earnings results on 31 March, Inditex outlined a strategy that will see it continue to open up new markets for its clothing brands, including its flagship line Zara. In 2007, the company said it opened 560 stores, beating targets for between 440 and 520 new outlets. As of December, it operates 3,691 stores in 68 countries.

The retail giant plans that in 2008, most new store openings will be concentrated in China, Japan and South Korea, where it expects to open its first store in May.

"Given their economic importance and growth potential, these three countries are the most important focus of the company in a region where commercial growth is doubling the world average," an Inditex spokesperson said.

In China, Inditex plans to expand its presence in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macao and Hangzhou while opening its first outlets in cities such as Tianjin, Nanjing, Harbin and Shenzhen.

Outside of East Asia, the company also plans to inaugurate its first stores in Ukraine, Montenegro and Egypt. Last year, much of Inditex's growth was concentrated in Eastern Europe, particularly Russia.

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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