Even after many decades, you would learn that Zara has not changed much, neither has its boutique system. Typically, retail will have a far more restrained consumption, but not for Zara. Due to its fashion forward styles as well as cool staples and statement pieces, every fashionista does not hesitate to flock to Zara. Here's everything you need to know about the world's largest apparel retailer.
How Zara got its name
Zara has become an iconic household name in the fashion industry. In opening their first store in A Coruna in 1975, their original plan was to name it Zobra, after Zobra the Greek, their favourite film. However, because there was already a bar called Zobra nearby and to avoid confusion, they decided to change names. This last minute change was created from tweaking the letters in Zobra, hence the name Zara. This goes to show not all accidents are bad because Zara is now a brand known around the world with over 2000 stores across 88 countries.
800 million items of clothing are produced per year
The number is equivalent to approximately 10% of the entire world's population. Nonetheless, not all of Zara's pieces are factory made. This is because; delicate stitching or unique details such as embroidery on a jacket are still sewn by hand. Since the brand produces 30,000 new designs a year which comes to about 26,000 pieces of clothing a design, it combines small production runs with large volumes of designs. This means that it guarantees the interest and appeal to one consumer or another. So if one design is not your cup of tea, the latter might.
No wastage ethic
Considering that Zara is the world's largest fashion retailer, they have the lowest wastage compared to any other major fashion labels. Research has suggested that clothing companies tend to discard or destroy roughly 10 to 20% of their products. However, Zara's wastage stands at only 1%. It is obvious that not every product will sell as well, but for the 1% stock that is left, it will be donated to charity.
There are 2,313 Zara stores all over the world, with more stores to open particularly in the North Asian region. Each design only has a small number of 25,000 being produced which means that each store gets a limited amount of products. So if you the retail workers tell you that a clothing item is not available, chances are that it is really not available.
Data is taken seriously
Zara places importance on data first before everything else. At the headquarters of Zara in Spain, there are huge rows of computer terminals. Analysts will take a look at information from each and every store globally that usually comprises of details based on the products that sold well and which did not as well as the general interest of consumers. After that, the information will be delivered to designers which will be interpreted into their designs.
Every item is tested
Testing is important for quality control but that is not the main purpose Zara has. From store layouts to clothing designs, everything is tested internally to see which is favoured. After that, the product is only actually made. The testing includes store managers, designers and lead designers, marketing, and any other relevant department.
The main reason for minimum wastage is that Zara cuts their cloth themselves. In order to ensure the best use of material, the raw material comes to the headquarters and is then patterned and cut. Most of the materials come from either Spain or other surrounding countries and finally put together. After that, it goes back to Zara for handwork, quality control, RFID tagging, and packing.
The purchasing processing organisation chart is pretty impressive at Zara. Whatever Zara stores from anywhere in the world wants to acquire, it will immediately gets sent into a central server. This will then sort the data and puts across the logistics within just two hours. Later on, the logistic department sees what it has in stocks and then packs them accordingly. The products are usually not sorted by country but earmarked for specific stores across the world. The sorting is done with a specialised conveyor system.
Traditional is Zara's first name
A lot of things are still done traditionally around Zara. For example, sampling are still handmade with the help of a designer and a pattern cutter working together in small groups.