Clothes retailing: The dedicated followers of fast fashion

Enjoying Desigual’s Mediterranean vibe

ON HIGH streets and in shopping centres across the globe, Spain’s most successful clothing retailer, Inditex—best known for its Zara outlets—does battle daily against such other multinational fast-fashion giants as Hennes & Mauritz of Sweden, Uniqlo of Japan and Gap of the United States. But it also faces rising competition, at home and abroad, from two Spanish rivals, Mango and Desigual.The larger of the two contenders, Mango is still fairly small: its turnover of €1.9 billion ($2.6 billion) last year was less than one-fifth that of Inditex’s Zara branches. But Mango already has more outlets than Zara, and is in more countries (107) than Inditex as a whole (88). Mango plans to open lots more branches and increase its turnover to €5 billion by 2017.Desigual is smaller still. It had sales of €828m last year, four-fifths of them outside Spain, and has outlets in 109 countries. It has expanded tenfold since 2007. Its heady growth has attracted the attention of Eurazeo, a French private-equity firm, which in March bought a 10% stake. This valued Desigual at €2.9 billion; Inditex’s current…

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