March 14, 2020 / 9:53 AM / 17 days ago

Zara owner to close all stores in Spain because of coronavirus

MADRID (Reuters) - Zara owner Inditex (ITX.MC) is to temporarily close all of its stores in Spain from Saturday because of the coronavirus, Europa Press said, citing sources at the company.

A company spokesman told Reuters on Friday it would temporarily close stores in areas designated by the government as the worst-affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including Madrid.

Spain is the fashion retailer’s largest network of stores by far, accounting for about a sixth of group sales. It also owns the Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear brands.

On Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared a state of emergency but did not spell out what emergency powers he would use, or what help shut-down businesses would get.

Some regions, such as Madrid and Catalonia, announced on Friday they would close bars, restaurants and shops apart from those selling essential items such as food, but such measures have so-far not been rolled out nationwide.

Spain has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe after Italy. The current Spanish tally stands at 4,231. About 120 people have died.

Reporting by Jessica Jones; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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