Industry

Zara Success: A Databased Culture

Bloomberg Businessweek: “Unlike rivals such as Gap, H&M, and Primark, Zara has no chief designer, and there’s little discernible hierarchy. Its 350 designers are given unparalleled independence in approving products and campaigns, shipping fresh styles to stores twice a week. Guided by daily data feeds showing what’s selling and what’s stalling, the teams develop fashions for the coming weeks. Every morning, staff in Arteixo divine what’s popular by monitoring sales figures and thousands of comments from customers, store managers, and country directors in cities as far-flung as Taipei, Moscow, and New York.”

“Zara’s culture isn’t as easily copied as the latest fashion trends, and that partly explains why Inditex, its parent company, is a breakaway success while most global clothing retailers are struggling … ‘There isn’t a magic formula,’ says Pablo Isla, Inditex’s chairman and chief executive officer. ‘There are no stars. We are able to react to data during the season, but in the end, what we offer our customers is fashion, and there’s a human element to that’.”

“Isla rejects the fast-fashion label for Zara, saying it doesn’t reflect the time and detail that goes into designing each garment. And he says analysts place too much emphasis on Inditex’s much-vaunted supply chain … Just as important is the way Inditex ‘pulls’ ideas from consumers, Isla says, rather than designing collections months in advance and ‘pushing’ goods on shoppers with ads … Since 2010, the data on what customers want has been augmented with information from online sales. Those are fueled by twice-weekly releases of new designs on Zara’s website, highlighted with photos from rapid-fire shoots in Arteixo.

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Tim Manners/Brand X Ventures | Dec 5th, 2016 | , , ,