SHANGHAI — Inditex, the world’s largest fashion retailer, will shut the local e-commerce operations of its Bershka, Pull&Bear and Stradivarius’ brands this month, meaning they will no longer trade in the country.
Customer service will remain available until Aug. 31, according to notices on the brands’ Tmall flagships.
In a statement sent to WWD, Inditex said “As always, Inditex will remain committed to providing Chinese consumers with high-quality fashion products based on customer preferences and needs, through a unique integrated online and offline experience with Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, and Zara Home.”
The Spanish clothing giant started shutting down the brands’ physical stores last year. In January, the group announced it would close all Bershka, Pull&Bear and Stradivarius stores by the end of the month.
At the time, each brand still had around a dozen stores in first- and second-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Hangzhou.
Inditex’s Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho and Zara Home brands will remain in the Chinese market.
Inditex’s profit spiked 80 percent, while sales rose 36 percent in the first fiscal quarter ended April 30. But China was the only market that underperformed, with 67 stores closed during the period due to COVID-19-related restrictions.
The rise of local Chinese players, such as Peacebird, Urban Revivo and Mo&Co. spelled the demise of the three Inditex brands.
The Chinese retailers, which played in the same market segment as the three Inditex brands, were quick to embrace social commerce, and snatched market share from Inditex on platforms such as Douyin, Pinduoduo and Kuaishou.
Bershka, Stradivarius and Pull&Bear had difficulty appealing to a new generation of fashion-forward, yet price-conscious, customers.
Despite three of its brands exiting China, the Spanish giant continues to expand its retail network in the market. The company said last year it had planned to close up to 1,200 smaller stores and focus on its larger flagships.
Zara recently opened two stores in Changsha and Chengdu, each spanning 3,000 square meters, or 32,291 square feet. The retail space is equipped with sophisticated retail technology and self-service cash registers.
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