Zara’s operations are
concentrated in Spain,
but they have stores
around the world like
these in Manhattan and
Source: Used with
permission from Inditex.
Textil), parent of game-changing clothes giant, Zara. The blend of technology-enabled strategy that
Zara has unleashed seems to break all of the rules in the fashion industry. The firm shuns
advertising and rarely runs sales. Also, in an industry where nearly every major player outsources
manufacturing to low-cost countries, Zara is highly vertically integrated, keeping huge swaths of its
production process in-house. These counterintuitive moves are part of a recipe for success that’s
beating the pants off the competition, and it has turned the founder of Inditex, Amancio Ortega,
into Spain’s wealthiest man and the world’s richest fashion executive.
The firm tripled in size between 1996 and 2000, and then its revenue
skyrocketed from $2.43 billion in 2001 to $18.3 billion in 2011. In
August 2008, sales edged ahead of Gap, making Inditex the world’s
largest fashion retailer.J. Hall, “Zara Is Now Bigger Than Gap,”
, August 18, 2008.
Table 3.1 "Gap versus Inditex at a Glance"
compares the two fashion retailers. While Inditex supports eight
brands, Zara is unquestionably the firm’s crown jewel and growth
engine, accounting for roughly two-thirds of sales.R. Murphy,
“Expansion Boosts Inditex Net,”
Women’s Wear Daily
, April 1, 2008.
Table 3.1 Gap versus Inditex at a Glance
Number of Stores
Number of Countries
Number of Other
Arteixo (near La Coruña),
First Store Opened