RETAIL PIONEER: Rosalia Mera, a seamstress who co-founded a clothing store in northwestern Spain that grew into one of the world's largest retail chains, has died at the age of 69.

RETAIL PIONEER: Rosalia Mera, a seamstress who co-founded a clothing store in northwestern Spain that grew into one of the world's largest retail chains, has died at the age of 69.

ZARA'S EXPANSION: Mera was Spain's richest woman and a major stakeholder in Inditex SA, the owner of the Zara chain that expanded rapidly across the globe over the past several decades.

THE BEGINNING: Mera founded the first Zara store in 1975 in La Coruna with her then-husband, Armancio Ortega. He is listed by Forbes as the world's third-richest person.