How the SamCam effect sent profits soaring at Zara: Retailer racks up 1.3bn in 2012
23:55 GMT, 12 December 2012
Zara fan: Label took centre-stage at the Tory party conference when Samantha Cameron wore a grey jumper (29.99) and high-waisted orange cigarette pants (39.99) from the same store
It is the high street fashion chain that boasts Samantha Cameron, the Duchess of Cambridge and even Mary Berry among its fans.
So it is perhaps no surprise that Zara, the modestly-priced retailer, has seen its profits soar by 27 per cent.
The Spanish-owned brand has bucked the high street gloom by racking up profits of 1.3billion in the first nine months of the year.
And there seems little doubt that the patronage of some of Britain’s biggest fashion icons has had a key role in securing its success in the UK.
The Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton were both spotting wearing Zara on the day after the Royal Wedding.
Kate was seen heading off on her honeymoon in one of its 49.99 cornflower blue dresses, which subsequently sold out, while Pippa was spotted travelling home in a 69.99 Zara jacket.
The label also took centre-stage at the Tory party conference when Samantha Cameron wore a pair of high-waisted, orange cigarette pants (39.99) and a grey jumper (19.99) from the same store.
Mrs Cameron also has a pair of 29 grey court shoes from the store, which she has been spotted wearing on a number of occasions.
Although the store’s main appeal is among young, cash-strapped followers of fashion, it is clear its designs appeal to young and old.
When 77-year-old Mary Berry wore a brightly-coloured Zara bomber jacket on the hit BBC2 show The Great British Bake Off, her stamp of approval was an unlikely coup for Zara, showcasing the design to millions of viewers.
Zara, which has 65 stores in the UK, is owned by the world’s biggest retailer Inditex, which also owns the Massimo Dutti and Bershka brands.
Its huge surge in profits marked a 27 per cent increase on the same period last year, with sales swelling by 17pc to just over 9billion when many of its rivals are struggling.
Amancio Ortega, who founded Inditex in 1975, is now the world’s fifth richest man, worth an estimated 23billion.
His fashion empire has almost 6,000 stores and 116,000 employees in 86 countries.
People's princess: The Duchess of Cambridge chose a 49.99 Zara dress and 129.99 LK Bennett pumps for her first appearance following the wedding. Pippa Middleton was also spotted wearing Zara on the same day
Stamp of approval: When 77-year-old Mary Berry wore a brightly-coloured Zara bomber jacket on The Great British Bake Off, it was an unlikely coup for Zara, showcasing the design to millions of viewers