Zara’s sister brands, Bershka, Pull&Bear and Stradivarius, are to shut their Tmall stores, ceasing operations in Mainland China after removing physical stores earlier this year, according to WWD.
Inditex’s other brands, including Zara and Massimo Dutti, however, will remain operating in the market. The withdrawal of the labels from China follows American Eagle Outfitters’ recent move to close its local e-commerce stores in the country, prompting its departure from the market.
While Inditex recorded growth across most of its geographic markets with revenue and net profit increasing 36 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively, in China – where 67 stores were affected by Covid-19 restrictions – the Spanish retailer experienced the reverse fortune.
Since launching in China, Inditex opened more than 110 stores of Bershka, Pull&Bear and Stradivarius stores across the country. The exit of a series of fast fashion brands in the past few years – including Old Navy, Selected and Esprit – reflects not only the impact of the Covid restrictions but also the change in preference of Chinese consumers, where conventional fast fashion is less attractive.
“It’s clear within the fast-fashion space there has been somewhat of a shift towards nimble domestic fashion brands, so if anything it is harder now for international fast fashion to compete here than in the past,” Ben Cavender, MD of China Market Research Group told Reuters.
Despite the struggles of its fellow brands in one of the world’s largest apparel markets, Forever 21, which exited Mainland China twice, last month made its third attempt, aiming to take a bigger bite in the lucrative fast-fashion category.