Retail in Asia

In Sectors

Fashionably fast the key to Zara success

Amid the pervading gloom in the retail sector, one fashion chain is so dazzlingly successful its founder has overtaken Warren Buffett as the third richest man in the world.

Since opening its first store in Galicia, Spain, in 1975, Zara (owned by fashion distributor Inditex) has grown to a worldwide success story that can lay claim to developing the philosophy of ”fast fashion”. It’s a model that relies on fast turnover of stock at its 1700 global stores to always keep the customer coming back to buy more.

While even the best-run traditional fashion retailers might have new stock in the store every four weeks, Zara has compressed that to between two and three weeks and is believed to launch 10,000 new designs a year. This model led one fashion industry executive to describe Zara as ”possibly the most innovative and devastating retailer in the world”.