March 18, 2020 / 6:36 PM / 22 days ago

Zara owner offers to make scrubs for Spain's coronavirus-stretched hospitals

FILE PHOTO: A worker decorates the shop window of Inditex's main brand Zara in a shopping mall in Majadahonda, near Madrid, Spain, May 23, 2018. Picture taken on May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

MADRID (Reuters) - Zara owner Inditex, whose polka dot dress was a high-street sensation in 2019, may soon be stitching hospital scrubs, helping its home country Spain fight the coronavirus epidemic, the company said on Wednesday.

Inditex (ITX.MC), which earlier on Wednesday said the epidemic had shut nearly half its stores around the world, said it was studying converting part of its textile manufacturing capacity in Spain to produce hospital gowns.

It also said it would make available to Spain its vast logistics and supplier network, especially in China, to “meet Spain’s emergency needs of both medical and textile materials” such as protective masks, gloves, goggles and caps.

It said it had already donated 10,000 masks and another 300,000 were due to be sent by the end of the week.

Spain has been affected more by the coronavirus than any other European country except Italy, and accounts for the fashion retailer’s largest network of stores by far.

Reporting by Nathan Allen, Writing by Jessica Jones, Editing by Andrei Khalip and Mark Potter

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