International News - Inditex homewares step questioned by analysts

Spanish fashion giant Inditex aims to repeat its success in clothing in homewares, and plans a new store chain dedicated to that market.

However, some analysts have questioned the decision because there remains so much potential in Inditex's existing chains.

The store group will open up to 15 homewares stores between August and September this year, according to chief executive Jose Maria Castellano.

There will be standalone stores, as well as shops-in-shops in Zara outlets. Locations for the new stores have yet to be confirmed, but an Inditex spokeswoman said that Spain will most likely be the testbed for the fledgling chain.

Approximately 80 per cent of the homewares range will comprise items such as sheets, towels and duvets. The remainder will be crockery and cutlery.

Goldman Sachs analyst Keith Mills said that although the homewares market was one that many UK clothing retailers are also moving into, he is surprised at Inditex's initiative and the fact that the retailer is expanding so many different formats at the same time.

'They are pursuing a multi-format strategy with some vengeance at the moment, but there is still tremendous physical growth available for Zara,' he said.

- Inditex has created the position of deputy managing director at group level. The retailer has recruited Carrefour's former Spanish hypermarkets managing director, Agustin Garcia-Poveda, to the role. He had worked at Carrefour since 1987 and will report directly to chief executive Jose Maria Castellano.