HEAD ON: Spain’s fast-fashion giant, Zara, is meeting H&M on its home turf. Last week, Zara opened its first Swedish store — a two-level location with 17,200 square feet of floor space — on Hamngatan Street, a major shopping thoroughfare in central Stockholm. “Our store is very close to H&M and several H&M units, but we don’t consider [the Swedish retailer] a rival.For us, it’s just another company,” said a spokeswoman at Zara’s La Coruña-based headquarters. “[The competition] will just make us work harder, and it’s the client that will get the best results.” She reported large queues on opening days, which she called “gratifying.” At the same time, Zara rolled out a new store in Ljubljana, Slovenia. With the current additions, parent company Inditex’ ever-expanding global roster of stores totals 1,700 in 47 countries.

Barbara Barker

AT A LOSS: Debt-laden Cerruti parent Fin.part saw its first-half net loss widen to $39 million, or 34.8 million euros in local currency, from $29 million, or 25.8 million euros, the year before. Sales for the six months ended June 30 dropped 9.4 percent to $230 million, or 205.1 million euros. Fin.part has been selling off assets, including the Maska brand and the Boggi retail chain, to reduce the debt pile it amassed from a buying spree. Fin.part said its net debt as of June 30 stood at $398.3 millioncompared with $571.6 million as of the same date last year. Elsewhere, Fin.part’s board approved plans for a capital increase of up to $78.5 million. The company also noted that sales trends for fall are promising for its “core” businesses of Cerruti, Frette and sportswear unit Pepper.

Amanda Kaiser

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