Zara Stores Return to Venezuela After Hyperinflation Is Tamed


Fashion retailer Zara is reopening in Venezuela as consumer spending recovers after the country tamed hyperinflation.

Local franchise operator Grupo Futura will have its first outlet up and running in an upscale Caracas mall before July, according to Zara’s parent company Industria de Diseno Textil SA., or Inditex. The company shut its operations in the country in 2021 after hyperinflation and a seven-year economic slump gutted retail demand.

Other Inditex brands, Bershka and Pull & Bear, also exited the country in 2021. Inditex is owned by Amancio Ortega, Spain’s richest person with a fortune of $84 billion.

The restart of Zara’s operations comes as Venezuelans’ purchasing slowly recovers after widespread dollarisation tamed inflation, and an easing of US sanctions allowed investment to pick up. The economy will expand 4.5 percent this year, according to a forecast by the International Monetary Fund, outpacing Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Chile.

The franchise operator Grupo Futura will evaluate the response to the first store reopening before gradually expanding, said shopping mall chamber director Claudia Itriago.

US President Joe Biden’s administration announced a deal with Venezuela in October to lift some sanctions in return for pledges of fairer 2024 elections.

President Nicolas Maduro is expected to seek a third term in elections this year, though he is lagging far behind opposition leader María Corina Machado in polls.

By Clara Hernanz Lizarraga and Fabiola Zerpa

Learn more:

Zara Stores To Close In Venezuela as Inditex Brands Exit

The franchise operator of Zara and two other popular apparel chains will close all of its stores in Venezuela in the next few weeks.

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