Zara has been able to stay in business and be one of the most affordable and yet most profitable companies in the apparel industry. It breaks all the rules in the fashion industry starting with the lack of discounted merchandise, lack of advertising to the almost never heard of in house production process. With merely 1,000 styles per month or 12,000 per year it makes a customer want to frequently visit the store more then any other. Burberry on the other hand was a failing company in 1997 and now is an internationalized luxury brand that provides customers with high-end fashion pieces. It is the leading luxury brand on Facebook with over one million fans and in 2009 was featured on the covers in more then 270 leading magazines across the world. Both companies are successful and known across the globe; however, the work that is done behind the scenes differs in many ways.
Zara opened its first store in 1975 selling low priced imitations of more upmarket fashion styles (zara.com). With 1021 shops, in 55 countries Zara appears to have found the formula for success that is to give the public what it wants at the lowest possible price, in the shortest time possible. Throughout the years it became successful due to the “design and respond quickly” strategy it has been using since it first opened. Zara has three key success factors: shorter lead times for concept to reach the market, smaller quantities per style, and many more styles during a year then other clothing companies (Dutta, Devangshu). The commercial managers and designers conceptualize what the garment will look like, what fabric to use and the cost of producing a certain piece. The company concentrates on the kind of fabric and amount it will buy before the design is even sketched, making the process of actually creating the clothing more efficient since the fabric is already in their warehouse. To make costs of fabric lower the company buys semi processed and un-colored fabric. Their workshop...
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