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Unformatted text preview: ro ugho ut the wo rld. It’s here that wo rkers test and f ine-tune the
chain’s award-winning windo w displays, merchandise layo ut, and even determine the in-sto re
so undtrack. Every two weeks, new sto re layo ut marching o rders are f o rwarded to managers at each
lo catio n.C. Ro hwedder and K. Jo hnso n, “P ace-Setting Zara Seeks Mo re Speed to Fight Its Rising
Cheap-Chic Rivals,” Wall Street Jo urnal, February 20, 2008. Technology ≠ Systems. Just Ask Prada Here’s ano ther interesting thing abo ut Zara. Given the so phisticatio n and level o f techno lo gy
integratio n within the f irm’s business pro cesses, yo u’d think that Inditex wo uld f ar o utspend
rivals o n tech. But as researchers Do nald Sull and Stef ano Turco ni disco vered, “Whether
measured by IT wo rkers as a percentage o f to tal emplo yees o r to tal spending as a percentage o f
sales, Zara’s IT expenditure is less than o ne-f o urth the f ashio n industry average.”D. Sull and S.
Turco ni, “Fast Fashio n Lesso ns,” Business Strategy Rev iew , Summer 2008. Zara excels by
targeting techno lo gy investment at the po ints in its value chain where it will have the mo st
signif icant impact, making sure that every do llar spent o n tech has a payo f f . Co ntrast this with high-end f ashio n ho use P rada’s ef f o rts at its f lagship Manhattan lo catio n.
The f irm hired the P ritzker P rize—winning hipster architect Rem Ko o lhaas to design a lo catio n
P rada wo uld f ill with jaw-dro pping techno lo gy. All items f o r sale in the sto re wo uld spo rt
radio f requency ident if icat ion (RFID) t ags (small chip-based tags that wirelessly emit a
unique identif ying co de f o r the item that they are attached to ). Walk into a glass dressing ro o m
and custo mers co uld turn the walls o paque, then into a kind o f co mbinatio n mirro r and headsup display. By wirelessly reading the tags o n each garment, dressing ro o ms wo uld reco gnize
what was bro ught in and make re...
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- Winter '14