Zara: instant fashion!
Last Updated on December 10, 2018
On the northern coast of Spain lies a little town called A Coruna. It was in this town in 1975, with its population of 232,356 (1981), that Amacio Ortego opened the first Zara store. Somewhat of a sleepy town, the population of A Coruna has increased to just 243,978 in the last almost 40 years–a growth of just over 11,000.
Zara is one of the world’s major international fashion companies, belonging to Inditex, one of the world’s largest distribution groups.
Ortega initially named his store Zorba, after the film, Zorba the Greek. However, as there was a bar with the same name just a couple of blocks away, he renamed his store to Zara.
In the beginning, Ortega’s stores featured lookalikes of higher-end clothing designs. During the 1980’s, however, Ortega came up with the idea of “instant fashions.” Rather than relying on individual designers, he used groups of designers. He improved the manufacturing and distribution processes to reduce lead times, making it possible for him to quickly capture and produce new fashion trends.
Manufacturing and distribution
Zara’s fashions are for both men and women, and Zara Kids offers stylish clothing for children. With its highly efficient manufacturing and distribution processes, new Zara products are in stores within 10 to 15 days. Zara launches around 12,000 new designs and produces over 450 million items each year.
Rather than spending money on advertising, Zara invests its revenues in new stores–quite a unique concept!
In 2012, Greenpeace published its Toxic threads: the big fashion stitch-up report as part of its Detox Campaign. The report identified companies that use toxic substances in their manufacturing processes. Within days after the report was published, Zara agreed to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire supply chain and products by 2020. Zara became the biggest retailer in the world to raise awareness for the Detox Campaign, and switched to a fully toxic-free production.
Communications and Marketing
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