Fast-fashion retailer Zara is on a mission to take over the world, and in the process it has changed the whole fabric of the industry.
Zara’s strategy involves stocking very little and updating collections often. Instead of other brands that only update once a season, Zara restocks with new designs twice a week, reported Suzy Hansen at the New York Times.
That strategy works two ways, according to Hansen. First, it encourages customers to come back to the store often. It also means that if the shopper wants to buy something, he or she feels that they have to in order to guarantee it won’t sell out.
As a result of its massive success, Zara is making luxury retailers pretty nervous. Zara tries to build their stores as close as possible to the luxury boutiques like Stella McCartney and Chanel. Meanwhile, those retailers are trying to stay far away from the fast-fashion company.
“They broke up a century-old biannual cycle of fashion,” an analyst told Hansen. “Now, pretty much half of the high-end fashion companies” — Prada and Louis Vuitton, for example — “make four to six collections instead of two each year. That’s absolutely because of Zara.”
Another important way that Zara has impacted the fashion is by negating the idea that expensive clothes are more desirable. Kate Middleton has often been photographed in the brand, and getting something chic for a steal is something to brag about.
Zara also fits in with another trend: today’s demanding consumer.
Now that shoppers can get what they want from virtually any channel for a variety of prices, they’re becoming much more discerning about what they want.
That means that a company that sells high fashion for low prices and offers constant new merchandise is set to do well in today’s marketplace, and other retailers should be rushing to emulate Zara’s model.