How is the role of the store manager different at Zara from other retailers?
Zara, as a company, is most famous for its control of the supply chain (Lu par. 2). In other words, it administers most of the stages of clothing production, from original designing to the stage of distribution. Thus, from the standpoint of a business model, the company has a considerable advantage in the speed of manufacturing. However, it is not only about the speed of manufacturing new models and clothes but also about the process of retail. The management at the level of particular stores is crucial in this case.
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The main role of store management is to sustain communication with the customers and to receive constant feedback from them (Lu par. 4).Overall, such an approach to maintaining its supply chain combined with the system of receiving fast feedback from its customers, it allows Zara to adapt quickly and change their designs depending on the customers’ demand.
Another area of the company’s expertise that requires special attention, from the perspective of store management, is online retail. The Inditex Group managed to succeed in this sphere due to the flexibility of the business model that modifies its operation with consideration for the slightest alternations in the apparel market. Thus, those are the means used by store managers to attend to the changes in the customers’ needs.
How were Zara’s innovative approaches to value creation disruptive of existing practices in the global apparel industry?
One of the most characteristic features of Zara, in particular, and the Inditex Group, in general, is the combination of the quality and affordable prices for the latest fashion trends. It is important to point out the fact that such practice was not that common before its introduction as a part of Zara’s strategy. The main advantage of the approach used by Zara relies on the fact that fashion trends are changing very rapidly nowadays. Therefore, in the sphere of highly fashionable and trendy clothes are bought while they are at the peak of popularity, continuous quality is not a priority. In such a way, the brand created cost leadership by making extremely trendy clothes available to a larger amount of people (Daniels, Radebaugh, and Sullivan 486).
Of course, it is also imperative to emphasize that the quality of Zara clothing is extremely good, considering how fast the production of new models of clothing is. However, on the other hand, unlike brands who offer high-quality casual items that people wear for years, season after season, the key to Zara’s business model that disrupted the market of the apparel industry is that its clothing is extremely fashionable and produced only for a particular season and for following a particular trend. In this respect, Zara’s supply chain is an advantage as well because the brand can react faster to the new trends than other apparel industry manufacturers.
If you were managing Zara’s (Inditex’s) global supply chain, what would be the pros and cons of setting up a second distribution center outside of La Coruna, Spain, possibly in China or Asia?
The main advantage of the second distribution center in Asia would be the possibility of faster delivery of new clothes to stores in Asia and China. It is an important advantage, considering the role of rapid distribution in Zara’s strategy. In addition, some of Zara’s factories are located in Asia, which would also make the supply chain even quicker. On the other hand, it is hard to ignore that the company manages to avoid the risks of cannibalization by other brands (for example, when Zara was entering the market in India) because of its centralized approach and controlling every step of production. Therefore, the major disadvantage is the risks of being cannibalized by local brands.
Daniels, John, Radebaugh, Lee, and Sullivan, Daniel. International Business. Environments & Operations. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2015. Print.
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Lu, Clara. “Zara’s Secret to Retail Success – Its Supply Chain.” 2016. Web.