Zara has long been known as the fast-fashion darling of the retail industry. I’ve written about its successes in an article in 2012 and again in 2015.
Since opening its first store in 1975, Zara ’s dedication to listening to its customers has remained constant, and its processes have become a model for the entire fashion industry to at least consider, if not try to copy.
Zara is owned by Inditex, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, and operates more than 2,000 stores across 96 markets. Zara’s sales have increased around 12 percent a year over the last 15 years.
Fast fashion is something that a lot of retailers strive for, but few have actually mastered. Zara’s design process differs from the norm. While many retailers are working more than six months out, Zara brings new concepts to life in just three weeks. It does this through its integrated supply chain and by consistently keeping more than half of its factories in close proximity to key markets. They keep the supply close to the demand signal.
While other retailers are having trouble keeping pace with the evolving demands of today’s consumer, Zara isn’t fazed because it already is ahead of the curve.
So, what’s holding Zara back from even faster growth? Why isn’t there a Zara on every street corner everywhere?