Fast-fashion giant Inditex to transfer its Russian business

MADRID — Zara owner Inditex has reached an agreement to sell its Russian business to a Lebanese retail and real estate conglomerate, the Spanish fashion giant said Tuesday in a statement to the country’s competition authorities.

The buyer is Daher Group and the potential purchase is pending approval from Russian authorities, Inditex said, without disclosing financial details.

Inditex halted its business in Russia on March 5, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine at the end of February. Following other western brands, the fashion retailer closed its 502 shops and stopped online sales.

Tuesday’s announcement marks the end of Inditex’s business in Russia, although the retailer said it would consider returning through a franchise collaboration with Daher if market circumstances changed.

The statement to CNMC, the commission that oversees competition in Spain, made no direct reference to the war in Ukraine.

The sale agreement includes the transfer of most of the lease contracts of its existing stores, which Inditex says will enable the preservation of a substantial number of jobs generated by the group.

Founded in 1975 by Amancio Ortega, Inditex’ rapid success hinged on the ability to serve new fashion collections in record time. It currently operates several brands globally, including Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull & Bear and Oysho.