AS many companies with huge turnovers look to their governments to support them financially during the crisis caused by the coronavirus, Spanish giant Inditex, the world’s largest retailer confirms that profits will be down this year.
Nothing daunted however, they have decided that with more than 3,700 stores temporarily closed around the world (although encouragingly only 11 of those are now in China), it will start to help the fight against the virus by turning over much of its capacity to making accessories for the health section.
First project concerns face masks and Inditex expects to have more than 300,000 ready to hand over to the Spanish Health Authority within a matter of days.
It then plans to move into production or sourcing of gloves, protective glasses, caps, and face shields and once it can obtain the correct medical grade fabric will turn its capability over to production of medical gowns.
Spain is still the largest single market for Inditex products so it is repaying the country in which it was founded by doing what it can to assist during this time of emergency.
Although it is financially very sound with more than €8 billion in reserves, thanks to the uncertainty of trading due to the virus it has postponed any decision to issue a dividend but will review later in the year.
In the meantime, all shops that are open around the world offer customers the chance to return used or unwanted clothes which will then be donated to a number of different charities for distribution to those in need.