Industria de Diseno Textil SA (Inditex) has reached a preliminary deal to buy a 51 per cent stake in its Zara chain in Poland.

Inditex said in a statement that, under the terms of the agreement, it will take a stake of at least 80 per cent in the business - currently controlled by a franchisee - by 2008.

The Spain-based business said it will directly operate Zara's seven Polish outlets, consolidating the results from the market, which it believes has "significant growth potential".

Four new Zara stores are planned for Poland in 2005.