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"Die of Success? Give me a break. We've only just started." - Amancio Ortega, Zara's Founder
Continuing our global journey to learn something new our next stop is the retailer Zara. As of January 2023, the Inditex group which includes Zara operated nearly 6,000 stores worldwide.
In 1963, Amancio Ortega opened Confecciones GOA, a small dressmaking workshop in La Coruna in Galicia, Spain. Zara was born in 1975 and originally it was called Zorba, an inspiration from Amancio’s favorite movie ‘Zorba the Greek’. Turns out a bar nearby already had taken the Zorba name.
The Inditex Group was born in 1985 as a holding group to bring multiple companies, including Zara under one banner. Inditex actually stands for ‘Industria de Diseño Textil’.
Zara’s designers create 40,000 new designs annually, out of which up to 12,000 go into production. From the design stage to production, distribution, and appearing for sale in a Zara store, it takes up to 15 days (industry average is 4 to 6 months). Annually, the company produces 500 million pieces of clothing.
Most global fashion brands pump 3% to 7% of their revenues into advertising. For Zara, the advertising budget is 0.3% and most of it is used on store displays. 85% of the clothes are sold at full price.
La Coruna and visiting Inditex stores throughout the world such as this Zara in Milan was one of my favorite retail activities. Their focus on innovation and continuous improvement have also been a core inspiration to my career. As the opening quote from Amancio reminds us, if you truly enjoy what you are doing, every day, you are just getting started.
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