The Oracle Retail Week awards, which is considered as the Oscars of the retail industry, happened in March this year and awarded a fashion empire that came from small beginnings—Zara. It was named as the International Retailer of the Year because of impressive accomplishments it has achieved worldwide.
Along the chief executive of Home Retail Group, Terry Duddy, and the chief executive of Asda, Andy Clarke, Zara has been recognized as the biggest name in retailing today.
Zara has been in operation for 15 years. It opened its first store in the UK, with parent company Inditex. The parent company has also made its way to be a global giant, with a market share of €65bn.
What is more remarkable about Zara is that it has remained true to its Spanish roots. It did not attempt to outsource manufacturing to China, for instance, where it could have saved a lot of money. This path has been taken by many European and American companies in the recent decades.
M&S, for instance, manufactures clothing through third party companies abroad. Zara, on the other hand, produces more than half of its products in its manufacturing base located in La Coruna, Spain.
Their base being in Spain, the company took it as an opportunity to set a benchmark for fast changing fashion. Zara took trends from the catwalk to their local shops in a matter of two weeks. This was difficult for other brands to do because it took a long time for them to ship products from China to Spain.
M&S, for instance, has months of delay before the products actually reach the hands of the shoppers. The company, whose store is located in London’s Oxford Street, is the top competitor of Zara.
Philip Green, owner of Topshop, has said that Zara is the retailer that he is most likely to buy from because of its trendy and updated fashion designs.
Rosalia Mera, co-founder of Zara died on Wednesday night at the age of 69. She helped the company from scratch to its 6,000 stores across 80 countries.