Spain’s Inditex SA plans to sell Zara and other brands online anywhere in the world within two years. The goal implies doubling Inditex’s global footprint, as it now has stores in 96 countries and e-commerce in about half of those. The retailer is setting the goal amid growing investor concern about stronger competition from upstart rivals and as web sales threatens to erode profit margins. Morgan Stanley analysts have warned the company that its rankings have dropped from great to good while Credit Suisse stated its growing shift to online sales isn’t as beneficial as traditional store expansion. Inditex shares have dropped 14 percent this year. E-commerce is the source of 10 percent of its sales, having grown more than 40 percent last year.
Hennes & Mauritz AB, Inditex’s ailing rival, aims to add online sales in all its brick-and-mortar markets eventually, and expand in other countries as well. The H&M chain has e-commerce in about 50 markets and stores in about 70.