The story goes that a motor bike roars up to a red traffic light in La Coruna in Northern Spain. It stops alongside a black town car. From inside, the passenger glances out and sees the young biker leaning over the handlebars. His jean jacket has appliqued patches… a throwback to the 1970s. The old man grabs his phone and calls an aide in the office. Without taking his eyes off the jacket, he describes the jacket’s stitching, its shape and color. He finished the call with a single instruction – ¡Hacedlo!“ – Make it.
40 years ago, Amancio Ortega founded Zara on two key principles: give the customers what they want and give it to them faster than anyone else. As the story illustrates even today, those two key principles are at the heart of Zara, the world’s biggest fashion retailer.
Zara stores refresh their stock twice a week and receive orders in 48 hours or less. That has required some key organizational and supply chain decisions. “We never go to fashion shows,” says Loreta Garcia, a 23-year Zara veteran who heads up Zara Woman’s trends department. “We track bloggers and listen to customers, but we change our opinions all the time,” she says. “What seems great today, in two weeks is the worst idea ever.” [Read more...]