The Strategist’s Choice
The Story of Zara –
the Speeding Bullet
How a Business can
ZARA HAS become Spain's best-known fashion
brand and the flagship brand of £2.5billion
holding group Inditex. Amancio Ortea Gaona, the
company’s founder, began retailing clothes in
1963. By 2005 Inditex emerged as one of the
world’s fastest growing manufacturers of
affordable fashion clothing. Now with over 2000
stores and promising to double that number by
2011, Inditex is one of the biggest business
success stories in Spanish history.
Zara’s success offers us all some instructive
lessons in how to create and sustain a break
through strategy. The striking thing is that Zara
has found differences that matter to customers
and differentiated itself from its competitors by
performing key activities [in its supply chain]
differently. It is this that sets challenges for
competitors because they will not find it easy to
imitate or equal Zara’s positioning and it is this
achievement that has given Zara sustainable
competitive differentiation and positioning.
This article shows how Zara has achieved this
level of uniqueness.
Let’s start with the market! Today’s consumers
are spending less on clothing—choosing to spend
their disposable income on healthcare, electronics,
education, and travel and leisure. Moreover they
can now choose from a wide assortment of
inexpensive products. Thus to capture today’s
elusive consumer, it is more important than ever
to find a breakthrough in the clothing market.
Through a clear focus and vision, Zara has tapped
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into the power of fashion. It has shortened
conventional supply chain response from 5-7
month down to 2-2½ months and their customers
are eagerly awaiting next week’s—take note, not
next season’s new fashion!
Small and frequent shipments keep product...
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