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Apart from a single poster of a fashion model, nothing adorned its white walls. No flowers, no words, no ads, no fashion magazines, no style. The setting felt appropriate for the age of austerity, even if Inditex is one company in Spain that is actually thriving. Inditex now makes million garments a year and has around 5, stores in 85 countries, though that number is always changing because Inditex has in recent years opened more than a store a day, or about stores a year.

Right now there are around 4, stores in Europe , and almost 2, in Spain alone. The number of stores in different countries popped up on the screen — including in China and 45 in the United States. Since the time of our meeting, in late July, Inditex has reached stores in China and opened another in the United States. But can Inditex survive its own expansion? It depends on the customer and how big the demand is.

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We must have the dialogue with the customers and learn from them. In , he opened his own store in town. They found Zara.

H&M vs. Zara vs. Uniqlo: What's the Difference?

A traditional ready-to-wear fashion company in the West sends the designs for its clothes to independent factories in countries like China and India, where the labor to make them is cheap. These clothes are then shipped back and stocked in stores in spring and fall, with smaller shipments throughout the year. But a brand at Inditex will make a fall collection, for example, and then ship only three or four dresses or shirts or jackets in each style to a store.

Every day, store managers report this information to headquarters, where it is then transmitted to a vast team of in-house designers, who quickly develop new designs and send them to factories to be turned into clothes. Inditex owns factories in Spain and outsources production to factories in Portugal , Morocco and Turkey — considered costly labor markets, typically. The rest of its clothes are produced in China, Bangladesh , Vietnam and Brazil , among other countries.

Zara And Her Sisters: The Story Of The World's Largest Clothing Retailer

The trendiest items are made closest to home, however, so that the production process, from start to finish, takes only two to three weeks. The company tries to keep the stock fresh; one promise its stores make is that you will always be buying something nearly unique. Merchandise moves incredibly quickly, even by fast-fashion standards.

All those thousands of Inditex stores receive deliveries of new clothes twice a week. In this way, says Masoud Golsorkhi, the editor of Tank, a London magazine about culture and fashion, Inditex has completely changed consumer behavior. You buy it now or never.

Zara (retailer)

And because the prices are so low, you buy it now. Inditex owes none of its success to advertising. The marketing Inditex does do is all about real estate. The company invests heavily in the beauty, historical appeal and location of its shops. The retail strategy for luxury brands is to try to keep as far away from the likes of Zara. But Inditex is even more ambitious than that when it comes to finding valuable real estate.

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The company likes special buildings. The company does not talk about itself.

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The idea was that the client was to talk about the company. It was not to say how good it could be. The customer would say that if it was deserved. Profit has risen to almost 2 billion euros a year. The company expanded to , employees in , from around 80, in In short, while Spain has been suffering through real estate and debt crises following the global financial crisis , Inditex has prospered. Every piece of clothing the company makes has, in a way, been requested. A business model that is so closely attuned to the customer does not share the cycle of a financial crisis.

Fast fashion has also become more hip in recent years; even celebrities like Kate Middleton have been photographed wearing Zara.

Zara: How a Spaniard Invented Fast Fashion

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Zara and her Sisters: The Story of the World's Largest Clothing Retailer

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