In the book there are many good examples of successful strategies. Companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Best Buy, Joseph A. Banks, Borders, National Bicycle, Walmart, World and many others, are highlighted. I particularly liked the discussion of Zara, the fast expanding, fashion-right, company headquartered in the remote northwest corner of Spain in La Coruna. The founder – Amancio Ortega founded Zara in 1975 in order to better understand world markets for his fashion merchandise. A decade later he formed Inditex as a parent company for Zara, as well as several other retail concepts and suppliers that he had built.
While Zara’s original stores were in Spain, today it has stores throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia. The company opened their first store in Russia on August 28, 2013. In fiscal 2012 Inditex reported total sales of € 15.9 Billion ($20.7 Billion); Zara represented 66% of total sales or €10.5 Billion ($13.6 Billion) with 120 stores world-wide. Other, smaller, divisions include Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterque.
Zara has focused teams of designers and product managers. They oversee the design, sourcing and production of a specific classification such as dresses or women’s sportswear. They are responsible for both the initial collection and in-season response. Importantly to its success, Zara produces where it sells. This achieves short lead times for new fashion ideas.
Zara has certainly revolutionized the fashion industry in terms of the supply chain management. If you want to learn more about supply chain management, feel free to drop us a message.