| HBS Case Collection
(Revised March 2014)
In the 11 years since its public offering, Inditex and its flagship brand, Zara, had expanded into 86 countries, achieved $21.6 billion in revenue, and become the largest specialty apparel retailer in the world. In marked contrast to the general malaise of the Bolsa de Madrid, Inditex's share price tripled from 2008 to 2012 and traded at 25 times expected 2013 earnings, a 15% premium over Swedish rival, H&M. From 1,080 stores in 2000, it had expanded to 6,009 locations while sales and operating profits grew 25% p.a over this period. It had also established online stores across 23 different markets, with plans for launches in Russia and Canada during 2013, and it managed eight different brands. CEO Pablo Isla remained confident of future success and anticipated store expansion would continue growing at 8%-10% per year for the next three to five years. How could Inditex best maintain its strong growth and fend off competition?