Sample Essay

Zara´s aim is to make fashion accessible for all by offering the latest fashion in medium quality at prices, affordable for everyone. Zara’s business model operates on having a very low turnaround time, and reducing the advertising spend by using its store as the point of information.

Zara’s vertical integration of design, JIT manufacturing system, delivery and sales; flexible organizational and work structure, management of stocks on as-needed basis; quick response policy to fashion trends and advanced information technology to support operations combine to enable quick response to customer’s changing demands (Castellano, 1993). Zara ensures that completely new clothing can be delivered, once designed and manufactured in a meager cycle of four weeks. Changes in existing garments are available at display within two weeks, faster than competing firms (The Economist, 2005). Zara develops its ´live collections´ internally, the most receptive garments to fashion that contribute to almost half of its production, internally and outsources those that are not subject to modifications season-wise. About 11,000 new items are launched every year (Ghemawar, 2003).

The store acts not only as a point of sale but also influences the design and speed of production. What distinguishes Zara from its competitors is the feedback that Zara´s managers get from the customers at the point of sales about new garments or new products that they are interested in. Store managers report the demands of customers and the sales trends to the headquarters on a daily basis. The design group will use the feedback to create new articles or modifications to the existing goods and then deliver the items to the stores (Martinez, 1997).

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