Let’s have a closer look. In my last blog I shared expressions and information about Zara and its fast fashion. I have read that Zara only needs two weeks to come up with a new product and allocate it in their stores. This is really a fast and flexible way to produce fashion compared to competitors with an average of six months for developing a new product. But the opinions about Zara are as different as all the people living together on this planet.
Some people like for example the fashion director of Louis Vuitton think that Zara is innovative, because he described Zara as “possibly the most innovative and devastating retailer in the world”.
Another positive opinion is the one shared by CNN:
Spanish success story
But there are also many people who do not share these positive opinions. In their point of view, Zara can be seen as a “fashion imitator” or some others think that the sizes of the clothes of Zara could be a factor which may lead especially young women into anorexia nerviosa.
Because if these girls go to stores and recognize that they need a taller size than usual they might think that they have to lose some weight. And in most cases this is completely unjustified. I also noticed this size issue myself when I went there to look for a pants and the pants which I bought was at least 2 sizes taller than the other pants I have got.
In addition I have also heard about that issue considering the label Bershka which also belongs to Inditex. But actually I do not want to dig this deep in this topic, not now.
I rather want to come back to what makes Zara competitive and the answer is relatively simple. It is the fast fashion I mentioned before.
Now I want to take a look on some other examples.
For this I would like to consider another company which is called “Southwest Airlines”. You may think “What do airlines and a fashion retailer like Zara have in common?” In this case I do not care for the products of the company. I rather care for the strategy of the company.
Zara is a flexible and changing retailer, but still sticking to its concept.
In contrast, Southwest Airlines, as a corporation which has always been placing emphasis on its customer service, has avoided adapting to new technological innovations for a long time. But then they noticed that they could save costs and do work more efficiently so they managed to be the first ones to sell tickets via the internet. Of course they still managed to go on with their great customer service which made their clients come back and book them again. So in this case one can say that the company had a strength which made them different to others and this made them stay competitive. If I knew that the airline is cheap and furthermore having friendly and funny personnel I would surely book this airline again.
There are also other companies which set themselves apart from the others for example Wal-Mart Stores Inc. which are special for the way they motivate their personnel. I have not shopped there by myself yet but I have heard a lot about a kind of dance all the workers do everyday before they start working which sounds quite funny to me.
From these examples I come to my conclusion that main facts which influence the competition are innovation and being different than others.