Zara Success

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Arab Open University Faculty of Business Studies Business Functions in Context I B203A -- Second Semester 2015-2016 Tutor Marked Assessment Managing Marketing Channels: Zara | One global retailer is expanding at a dizzying pace. It's on track for what appears to be world domination of its industry. Having built its own state-of-the art distribution network, the company is leaving the competition in the dust in terms of sales and profits, not to mention speed of inventory management and turnover. Wal-Mart you might think? Dell possibly? Although these two retail giants definitely fit the description, we're talking here about Zara, the flagship specialty chain of Spain-based clothing conglomerate, Inditex. This dynamic retailer…show more content…
In 1975, Amancio Ortega opened the first Zara store in Spain's remote northwest town of La Coruna, home to Zara's headquarters. Having already worked in the textile industry for two decades, his experience led him to design a system in which he could control every aspect of the supply chain, from design and production to distribution and retailing. He knew, for example, that in the textile business, the biggest mark-ups were made by wholesalers and retailers. He was determined to maintain control over these activities. Ortega's original philosophy forms the heart of Zara's unique, rapid-fire supply chain today. But it's Zara's high-tech information system that has taken vertical integration in the company to an unprecedented level. According to CEO Pablo Isla, "Our information system is absolutely avant-guard. It's what links the shop to our designers and our distribution system." Zara's vertically integrated system makes the starting point of a product concept hard to nail down. At Zara's headquarters, creative teams of more than 300 professionals carry out the design process. But they act on information fed to them from the stores. This goes far beyond typical point-of-sales data. Store managers act as trend spotters. Every day they report hot fads to headquarters, enabling popular lines to be tweaked and slow movers to be whisked away within hours. If customers are asking for a rounded neck on a vest rather than a V neck, such an item can be in stores

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