The Spanish retail chain Zara has unique supply chain management practices that enable it to gain a competitive advantage over other fashion retailers in the industry. Zara’s rapid response time enables the firm to quickly respond to changing fashions while deliberately under producing products. This strategy, which is supported by competencies in logistic management, design and information systems, allows the company to maintain less inventory and higher profit margins and is a key factor to Zara’s success. The firm should continue to add value by seeking new opportunities to expand in the retail market and maintain their sustainable growth.
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Zara has been the odd ball in the industry with its creative business model but with more and more retailers quickly catching on and critiquing their business model to match the economy changes, Zara faces intense competition. Unlike other retailers, for example Gap and H&M, Zara needs to fight threats around the globe. In the states, Zara competition is intensified with American retailers because many customers still do not know who Zara is or what it offers. In Europe, Zara is like a Macys for us in the states so the brand awareness is there but competition is still also high. Many retailers in Europe offer the same products as Zara, at the same or similar prices; therefore Zara needs to find ways to keep ahead of competition.
Bargaining Power of Buyers: Zara is famous for its business model of just in time inventory. No other retailer can produce a garment from scratch and have it hanging in the stores within weeks than Zara. Zara also distributes large number of shipments to its stores around the world twice a week. All merchandise is shipped from Spain and all stores receive shipment on the same days, Monday and Thursday. Zara produces nearly 16,000 new designs a year which is much more than leading competitors. With the constant changing apparel Zara keeps its inventory levels extremely low. Zara customers know that if they see something in the store to buy it right then and there because tomorrow that garment will not be there. US