Zara has become one of the biggest and most famous brands in the global fashion industry.
Zara has come a long way since starting its adventure in the fashion world in 1975 with a meager budget of 30 euros. Today, Zara is one of the most famous brands in the world and one of the most successful fashion companies in the industry. Inditex is the parent company of Zara, which is also one of the leading retail groups.
Currently, Zara has more than 7,000 stores worldwide. The expansion came with the addition of clothing products for people of all ages, shoes, accessories and other fashion products. So what is the secret to bringing the fashion giant to success?
With a meager budget, Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera opened the first Zara store in Spain in 1975 as a family business. They were going to name the store Zorba, after a movie, but it coincided with a bar on the same street. So they renamed the store Zara so that customers wouldn’t be confused with another store.
In the early days of its establishment, Zara was known to everyone as a store specializing in selling affordable clothing and accessories that looked similar to famous brands. It wasn’t until 1980 that the big changes really began.
After a few years in business, Zara’s reputation quickly extended beyond the borders of Spain. By the 1990s, Zara had opened stores in many other countries across Europe and the US, including France.
With a vertically integrated process, Zara can maintain control over all processes such as dyeing and product handling. They also have the ability to handle the fabric whenever they need it. This allows them to manufacture materials that match new trends according to customer preferences.
Zara is one of the biggest fashion brands. The brand is also known for its ability to keep up with rapidly changing fashion trends. They always capture and launch products that combine high quality and affordable prices, and are able to quickly provide new models of clothing for their stores. Zara has achieved this by following a consistent and regular process.
Store managers will place orders for new garments twice a week at specific times. Those orders are completed on schedule within 1-2 weeks afterwards, while other fashion brands take nearly half a year to bring new designs to market. It’s been asserted that Zara’s success story, as well as its leadership and unwavering appeal, can be traced back to that very practice and culture of the company.
Zara also has a great advantage of being able to control its supply chain better than most other retailers. They can be flexible in terms of quantity, frequency and variety of new products being introduced to the market, since the company manufactures its own products. Only about 2 weeks after the design hit the catwalk, the entire design, production and distribution cycle is complete.
As Zara manufactures more than 450 million items and releases about 12,000 new designs each year, it needs an efficient supply chain to ensure that in-store collections are constantly refreshed. in a way that is both smooth and efficient.
The success story of a casual fashion brand can inspire many other businesses. Zara’s success partly comes from the implementation of a centralized planning system for enterprise resources. The main software hosted in the cloud will be responsible for inventory, product and logistics management.
But Zara’s customer-centric criteria really creates the success and peak that this brand achieves today. Over the years, Zara has served as a prime example of the type of business that understands its customers and meets their specific needs.
Any customer feedback will be reported back to headquarters and communicated to internal designers for their future review. Store managers are professionally trained in fashion and quick to observe. They are instructed to always pay attention to what customers say and do, thereby reflecting on the next moves the brand needs to make.
A classic story of Zara putting the needs of its customers first is that in 2015, a woman named Miko entered a Zara store in Tokyo and bought a pink scarf. However, the store did not have a pink scarf model like her wish. Many customers in other countries also look for pink scarves and get the same answer.
Seven days later, more than 2,000 Zara stores globally began selling pink scarves. 500,000 pink scarves were distributed and sold out in 3 days.
Zara’s story shows that rather than trying to predict how fashion trends will change in the distant future, the company has focused on meeting the actual requirements of the fashion industry. Without a doubt, this is the guiding principle behind the stormy rise of Zara.
Despite its success, Zara is one step behind in the mobile commerce space and needs to catch up quickly. Market data shows that mobile commerce will overwhelm desktop e-commerce by the end of the year. Most companies record 15-20% of their website traffic coming from mobile devices, and this number is growing. Zara’s mission now is to quickly make shopping on mobile devices easier and more enjoyable.