Zara is a Spanish clothing and accessories retailer based in Arteixo, Galicia, and founded in 1975 byAmancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera. It is the flagship chain store of the Inditex group, The world's largest apparel retailer, the fashion group also owns brands such as Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, Uterqüe, Stradivarius and Bershka.
It is claimed that Zara needs just two weeks to develop a new product and get it to stores, compared to the six-month industry average, and launches around 10,000 new designs each year. Zara has resisted the industry-wide trend towards transferring fast fashion production to low-cost countries. Perhaps its most unusual strategy was its ...view middle of the document...
During the 1980s, Ortega started changing the design, manufacturing, and distribution process to reduce lead times and react to new trends in a quicker way, in what he called "instant fashions". The company based its improvements in the use of information technologies and using groups of designers instead of individuals.
In 1980, the company started its international expansion through Porto, Portugal. In 1989 it entered the United States and in 1990 France.
This international expansion was increased in the 1990s, with Mexico (1992), Greece (1994), Belgium and Sweden (1994), etc. until reaching its current presence in over 73 countries.
Zara stores are company-owned, except where local legislation forbids foreigner-owned businesses; In those cases, Zara franchises the stores.
PRODUCT AND SERVICES
* “Creativity and quality design together with a rapid response to market demands”
* Mainly focused on clothing but spreading its activity in homeware and related items
* From grandmother to grand-daughter, a catalog for everyone
* Zara stores have men's clothing and women's clothing, each of these subdivided in Lower Garment, Upper Garment, Shoes, Cosmetics and Complements, as well as children's clothing (Zara Kids). Currently their sizing on women's clothing goes to a US size 12 or a UK size 14 .
* A new kind of t-shirt that fits both men and women
* Material: specially treated cotton that moves moisture away from your skin.
* Design: special edition by a strange Japanese designer.
* Sized: from XS to XXL to reach the widest market target possible.
* Colour: Huge variety of colours to make it easy to find the one that fits your current clothes.
MANUFACTURING AND DISTRIBUTION
Zara is a vertically integrated retailer. Unlike similar apparel retailers, Zara controls most of the steps on the supply-chain, designing, manufacturing, and distributing its products. Zara set up its own factory in La Coruña (a city known for its textile industry) in 1980, and upgraded to reverse milk-run-type production and distribution facilities in 1990. This approach, designed by Toyota Motor Corp., was called the just-in-time (JIT) system. It enabled the company to establish a business model that allows self-containment throughout the stages of materials, manufacture, product completion and distribution to stores worldwide within just a few days.
Regarding the design strategy, an article in Businessworldmagazine describes it as follows: "Zara was a fashion imitator. It focused its attention on understanding the fashion items that its customers wanted and then delivering them, rather than on promoting predicted season's trends via fashion shows and similar channels of influence, which the fashion industry traditionally used.
50% of the products Zara sells are manufactured in Spain, 26% in the rest of Europe, and 24% in Asian and African...