Zara Fast Fashion

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1.Features of Zara’s business model that affect its operating economics:

Zara owns much of its production and most of its stores, while competitors Gap and H&M own all of their stores but outsource all of their production. Benetton, on the other hand, owns all of its production but goes to market through licensing agreements. •Zara places more emphasis on backward vertical integration. Production runs are short and inventory is strictly controlled. This is in contrast to industry trends of high volume production. •Zara's product cycle time from the design phase to the manufacturing phase is 4 to 5 weeks while the industry average is 6 to 9 months. The short cycle time enables Zara to commit to a bulk of its product much later than its competitors. 85% of Zara's in-house production occurs after the season has started in contrast to 20% in-house production of traditional retailers. •Zara's pricing is lower than its competitors, but profit margins are higher due to direct efficiencies gained from a shortened, vertically integrated, supply chain. At Zara, a high inventory turnover rate results in minimal obsolescence costs, clearance sales or mark downs. Zara estimated 15%-20% of total sales as markdowns/close-outs vs. 30% to 40% for its competitors. This helps to preserve a strong profit margin and bolster market image as a "must buy now" destination. •Zara's advertising expenses are minimal (avg. 0.3% of revenue) compared with 3% to 4% for other specialty retailers. These helps lower expenses and preserve strong profit margins. Zara, in turn, invests more money in renovating its storefronts and buying prime real estate for store locations. •At Zara, 75% of display merchandise is turned every 3 to 4 weeks which corresponds to the average time between customer visits. The average Zara shopper visits the chain 17 times a year. In contrast, the competition records an average of 3 to 4 customer visits per year. Zara's image creates a "sense...
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