Inditex stands as the world’s largest clothing retailer currently.
It announced on Tuesday that it aims to sell products from all its brands on the internet around the world by 2020—includingin markets where it does not have any stores.
The Spanish company, which pioneered the fast-fashion concept in the 1980s is developing new technologies, pairing up with tech firms and testing new ways of handling stock – in order to compete with younger, online-only merchants like Boohoo.com and Missguided.
Company CEO Pablo Isla told reporters in Milan that a system whereby online customer orders could be covered with store inventory would be extended to all 96 countries where it has actual physical stores.
Inditex sells brands including Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho and Uterque across its network of almost 7,500 physical shops. It operates online in 49 markets around the globe.
“We want to make our fashion collections available to all our customers, wherever they are in the world,” Isla said, quoted in a statement. “Even in those markets which do not currently have our bricks-and-mortar stores.”
Online sales jumped 41% in 2017 to reach 10% of group net sales, although this made it a bit behind some rivals. Sweden’s H&M makes close to 12% of sales online.
Inditex stock plunged more than 5% on the Madrid bourse last week after Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation to “underweight”, citing sensitivity to currency movements and shifts in sales channels.