(Corrects headline to remove reference to Primark and H&M;
corrects date from Aug 11; )
By Sarah Morris
MADRID Aug 12 Inditex, owner of global
fashion chain Zara, has taken its revamped low-cost brand
Lefties to Russia in its latest move to take on competition from
budget brands Primark and H&M.
Inditex has been working hard to transform Lefties from a
chain of stores selling Zara's last-season clothes to a label in
its own right, giving it its own collection, a new image and new
stores to tap demand for low-cost clothes.
A spokeswoman told Reuters Inditex had opened two stores in
shopping malls in the outskirts of Moscow and a third one in the
suburbs in St Petersburg, all on Aug.1.
The Spanish company does not generally communicate to
investors or media its strategy about the brand or store
openings. Inditex still gives no separate breakdown of Lefties
results, instead including them in Zara's.
The spokeswoman declined to say whether Inditex was
concerned about sanctions between the EU and Russia, where the
company sells its other eight labels at more than 400 stores.
Some European companies have postponed further investment in
Russia as a precaution after U.S. and E.U.
sanctions imposed over Russia's actions in
Ukraine prompted a Russian ban on European food.
Until this month, Lefties, which had more than 100 stores at
the end of March, was only present in its home country Spain and
neighbouring country Portugal.
Analysts say the store's transformation to compete with
Primark and H&M made it a good brand to take abroad.
Inditex's other eight labels ranging from teen brand Bershka
through to upmarket accessories label Uterque have done well in
fashion-conscious Russia. At the end of April Inditex had 74
Bershka stores in the country and 70 of its casual label
The firm also plans to launch an online shop for Lefties
later this month, according to a report in Spanish news agency
Europa Press on Monday which said it would unveil the website on
August 22 as part of its bid to grow sales at the label.
Lefties already has a web page showcasing its collection but
it is not possible for customers to order garments from it.
A spokeswoman for Inditex declined to confirm or deny the
(Editing by Julien Toyer, Sophie Walker and Keiron Henderson)