Spanish fashion giant Inditex has set its eye firmly on the Asian and Eastern European markets as it opened the doors on its 4,000th store.

The shop, under the Zara fascia, opened in the Ginza district of Tokyo on Sunday and the fashion group intends to open 500 more stores across Asia and Eastern Europe in its next financial year. The openings will more than double the retailer’s presence in those areas by the end of next year.

Last week, Inditex said store sales in those markets had grown from 11 per cent of the total two years ago to 16.9 per cent in its first half to July 31 this year. The rapid increase contrasted with more sluggish growth in Western Europe, as well as slower growth in its Spanish domestic market and the Americas against last year.

In its first-half report, Inditex said that the Asian and Eastern European markets continued to have “high growth potential”, particularly in emerging markets such as Russia and China, where sales were up 64 per cent on the same period last year.

Bernstein analyst Luca Solca said that Inditex’s portfolio of fascias – it now operates seven – will help it continue to grow despite difficult trading conditions by reducing reliance on any single demographic.

Solca believed that the focus on Asia and Eastern Europe was positive and said: “Inditex can grow its top lines and reduce risk from the Spanish market and sell at a higher price level than in Spain.”