After years of uncertainty, key developed countries (US, Germany, UK, Japan, Canada and Australia) showed positive performances in local currency terms in 2014. However, the Eurozone again delivered negative growth.
Homewares was the fastest growing category in eleven countries. Gardening may be small in many countries, but was also fastest growing in ten. In Western Europe, good weather in 2014 made gardening the fastest growing category in the four largest countries.
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Zara Home delivered the highest growth of all the Inditex brands in 2014, with a 21% increase in value sales. Zara Home also continued its worldwide expansion, entering new markets such as Algeria and opening its first store in Australia in early 2015. The company only operates online in several countries, including Norway, Switzerland and, most importantly, the US. Although it started online retailing in the US in 2012, it has yet to open its first physical store in the country.
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Mobile sales are taking the travel industry by storm. Countries like Sweden, Australia and Japan are steaming ahead, with mobile sales to residents already well above the global average of 20%, thanks to hyper-connected populations. Online travel agents are driving the charge, with mobile sales already accounting for one fifth of all sales worldwide, having experienced exponential growth since the launch of smartphones. Clearly, travel brands that ignore the mobile trend risk being left behind as intermediaries push ahead of the curve and direct suppliers are slow to keep up.
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