Diving in: the ZARA imperium
While everyone’s talking about H&M and its guest designer Versace’s collection today, I’m gonna talk about their competitor Zara. Zara.. that started off as a producer of military uniforms, who does not have any advertisements and commercials, let alone a guest designer! I’m currently following a course called Information Systems Management and they’re talking a lot about Zara’s business model, which is kinda interesting! So.. today I’d like to talk about a some more interesting and less shallow aspect of fashion, what fascinates me incredibly much as well.
Well, what we, as Zara-addicts, all know too well is that their collection changes rapidly. Veeeery rapidly. Their strategy is “to hayve a continuous flow of new products that are typically in limited supply.” (1) This results of course in us behaving like some sort of haunted maniacs as soon as we spot something we REALLY, ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY, háve to have. We simply know the rule: if we’re not getting it now, it will be gone when we decide to buy it later. And you know it’s true… (can’t help recalling all my missed beauties now.. the white dress I was crazy over only a couple of months ago, the shoes that I desperately buy at size 39 back then and recently, and the stunning studded gloves that are sold out on the webshop during the time I blinked my eyes). No wonder that Zara’s customers visit their shops on an average of 17 times a year, whereas we would pay their competitors a visit on about 4 times a year only (1) (well, I’m not thát sure I’m ‘an average customer’ then, haha). Nonetheless: point taken: we love Zara and we’re acting perfectly according the rules set by them: BOUGHT IT x 17…
Yeah, this is partly due to the fact that a significant part of their production chain is not being outsourced to suppliers and that they therefore save time. That much that it only takes 15 days from idea to store!!
In addition, Zara listens to us. They hear our cravings, fantasies and needs (I’ve always had that feeling they were spying on me actually, how would they otherwise manage to sell all that stuff that I just HAVE TO HAVE everytime I set one high heeled feet in their store?). Store managers report every evening to the design headquartes what sells, what doesn’t and which colours and models are popular. Oh and.. indeed, they communicate clothes that were asked for and that they spotted as a trend in that particular country or city. Therefore, the designing components adjust designs especially to our wishes. Which results in over 11,000 manufactured designs a year. Oh, and the haunted feeling of course. Zara: this is what we love you for, you speed up our money cycle like hell. Finally someone that listens to us.
Their rapidly changing collections are also the reason they don’t advertise: why making us happy with pieces that are probably already sold out as soon as we reach the store? Exactly: completely unnecessary, fashion talks and blogs will do the work for them. So if they don’t advertise… I know you’re secretly wondering what makes the clothes more expensive than the advertising H&M? =( Ok.. those psychologists that listen to us, the store managers that order popular clothes that complement our wishes twice a week, those ladies are expensive.
Oh well, my wishlist is complete already, even though I’ll probably have to update it within two weeks with new pieces posessing a high gottahave value. Oh and next time you screw them for ill-fitting jeans or skirts (sorry people! Some of us have a butt!) remember then that they laser-screened numerous volunteers (who, as being said, were ‘real’ women) to adjust better to real women’s bodies… 😉
(1) Strategic Management of Information Systems by Keri E. Pearlson and Carol S. Saunders