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Unformatted text preview: e the factors that helped Gap to at one point rise to be first in sales in
the fashion industry?
4. Who ran Gap in the 1990s? How did the executive perform prior to leaving Gap? Describe what
happened to sales. Why?
5. Who was the Gap’s second CEO of this decade? How did sales fare under him? Why?
6. Where do Gap clothes come from? Who makes them? Why? Are there risks in this approach?
7. Describe the downside of working with a supplier exposed as having used unethical practices.
How does this potentially damage a firm? How can technology play a role in helping a firm
become more socially responsible with its supply sourcing?
8. Describe the Fair Factories Clearinghouse. Which firm thought of this effort? Why did they give
the effort away? Think in terms of strategic resources: what happens as more firms join this
effort and share their data? 3.2 Don’t Guess, Gather Data
L E A RN I N G OBJ E C T I V E
1. Contrast Z ara’s approach with the conventional wisdom in fashion retail, examining how the
firm’s strategic use of information technology influences design and product offerings,
manufacturing, inventory, logistics, marketing, and ultimately profitability. Having the wro ng items in its sto res ho bbled Gap f o r nearly a decade. But ho w do yo u make sure
sto res carry the kinds o f things custo mers want to buy? Try asking them. Zara’s sto re managers
lead the intelligence-gathering ef f o rt that ultimately determines what ends up o n each sto re’s racks.
Armed with personal digit al assist ant s (PDAs)—handheld co mputing devices meant largely
f o r mo bile use o utside an o f f ice setting—to gather custo mer input, staf f regularly chat up custo mers to gain f eedback o n what they’d like to see mo re o f . A Zara manager might casually ask,
“What if this skirt were in a lo nger length?” “Wo uld yo u like it in a dif f erent co lo r?” “What if this Vneck blo use were available in a ro und neck?” Managers are mo tivated because they have skin in the
game. The f irm is kee...
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This document was uploaded on 01/31/2014.
- Winter '14