Aspects of Strategic Management
One of the major peculiarities of Zara’s strategic management is its focus on innovation. The founder of the company, Amancio Ortega, opened a clothing store that provided a product that was new and innovative for the fashion industry. The new store offered “high-fashion look-alikes to price-conscious Europeans” (Robbins and Coulter 286). The focus on products’ prices and fashion is still central to the strategic management of the retailer. Clearly, this strategy is very effective during the period of financial constraints many countries (and individuals) are facing at present.
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Another important aspect of the company’s strategic management is its emphasis on efficiency as well as speed. Zara is one of the first companies characterized by a very short production and distribution terms (Jarvis). The company has its facilities in Turkey, Morocco, Spain, and Portugal, which is very close to the countries where it operates. This proximity makes it possible to develop designs and distribute items among the stores within two weeks (Robbins and Coulter 286). The speed of the development of new items is beneficial for the company’s success as the consumer society needs more and more products.
Quality control is also an important aspect of the fast fashion leader’s strategic management (Loeb). The company makes sure that each item is of the necessary quality. If any deviations from the high standards (set by the company itself) are detected, the item is removed from the line (Robbins and Coulter 286). Of course, people try to get high-quality products even if they are ready to pay limited sums of money, so quality is one of the major competitive advantages of the company.
Finally, the focus on innovation has led to the introduction of the new area. Zara is going online and develops numerous services to its online customers (Hanbury). E-commerce is evolving at a very high pace, and the number of people shopping online is increasing each day. Therefore, the use of online resources is likely to bring more customers and result in significant growth of the company.
The adherence to its strategic vision enables Zara to maintain its competitive advantage. There are growing concerns that fast fashion companies provide low-quality products due to their desire to sell more and cut their costs (Whitehead). Nevertheless, the quality control system developed at Zara ensures the high quality of products provided (Robbins and Coulter 286).
Another way to maintain its competitive advantage is to reduce the time span between the point when a design is developed and the time when the products appear in the store. It has been acknowledged that fast fashion is becoming even faster as companies reduce the time of product design and distribution. The use of online platforms and one-day delivery is likely to become a new norm in the industry (Friedman). Zara is trying to keep up with other competitors.
Finally, proper marketing and communication are essential for the maintenance of the company’s competitive advantage. Information technology enables businesses to identify their customers’ (as well as potential customers’) preferences and reach wide audiences. The use of social media is instrumental in developing proper relationships with customers. Zara uses the tools and strategies mentioned above. Nevertheless, the industry is very competitive, so the company has to come up with innovative ideas all the time. The major focus should be on quality, prices, and speed.
Friedman, Vanessa. “The New Meaning of Fast Fashion.” The New York Times. 2017. Web.
Hanbury, Mary. “Zara Is Facing a Massive Threat that Could Jeopardize the Business.” Business Insider. 2017. Web.
Jarvis, Paul. “Fast Fashion Fading as H&M, Zara Shone Light on Industry Straints” Bloomberg. 2017. Web.
Loeb, Walter. “Zara Leads in Fast Fashion.” Forbes. 2015. Web.
Robbins, Stephen P., and Mary A. Coulter. Management. Pearson, 2013.
Whitehead, Shannon. “5 Truths the Fast Fashion Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know.” The Huffington Post. 2014. Web.