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ZARA Fast Fashion: Decoding The Billion Dollar Business Strategy

ZARA Fast Fashion Decoding The Billion Dollar Business Strategy 2

As one of the most demanding industries in the world, the fashion industry is all about making and selling clothes. The global fashion market for 2022 was valued at a massive $1.7 trillion and is projected to hike up to $3.3 trillion by 2030.

ZARA fashion


One of the fashion world’s most recognised names is ZARA, the Spanish international clothing chain. They specialise in fast fashion and has around 2000 stores operating in about 88 countries. The giant fashion brand is focused on a susceptible supply chain.

What made this ‘initially small store’ into a globally recognised brand? Let’s find out!

About ZARA

“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 New York Times Magazine says that even today, ZARA and its founder Amancio Ortega have a modest approach towards the fashion world among other top fashion brands.

Amancio Ortega wanted to start a clothing factory making housecoats and robes. Years later, Ortega opened a small clothing shop called ‘Zorba’ in 1975, which was later changed to ‘ZARA’. In 1985, the holding company ‘Inditex’ was created, which engages in retailing and accessories.

ZARA fast fashion


In no time, the fashion brand went beyond Spain, entering the US, France and even places across the globe. The brand has also kept pace with the advancing technology and using artificial intelligence in the fashion industry. They came online in 2010 in a few countries like Spain, the US, etc., expanding gradually to other countries.

Let us look at how the brand transforms the retail industry through its numerous marketing strategies.

ZARA’s fast fashion strategy: How it became the undisputed king of fast fashion?

If you want to own exquisite designs in no time with less expense, you can look up to H&M and ZARA fast fashion. The fashion giants are leading in fast fashion with their swift offering of new trending clothing at cheaper rates.


The brand is credited with having a successful business model with a five-week ‘design-to-retail’ cycle introducing more than 20 collections a year.

Usually, clothing retailers function on a seasonal model with mass production and try to discount their unsold products at the end of each season.

ZARA, however, follows a unique strategy by developing new designs (limited productions) all year round.

The benefits?

  • It eliminated the need to sell clothes at discounts.
  • Customers were urged to buy their clothes quickly before their favourite pieces got sold out.
  • It also made customers visit the stores more frequently to find new designs on each visit.
  • It made customers feel that their pieces would be relatively unique compared to the mass-produced designs.

How does ZARA use AI in its fast fashion strategy?

Artificial intelligence in the fashion industry is transforming supply chain management.

The brand employs AI robots to fetch orders using its ‘Buy Online’, ‘Click and Collect’ or ‘Pick-Up in Store’ (BOPIS) options.


ZARA hired ‘Tyco’ to install microchips into its clothing’s security tags to identify any particular style and size in its supply chain. The company also has an initiative with ‘Jetlore’, an AI-powered platform to optimise consumer content and communication for better-merchandising decisions, optimise search, etc.

How has ZARA adapted to COVID-19?

The early investment in online retail helped the fashion brand to recoup sales more quickly. The brand offered in-store pickup for years even before COVID-19 lockdowns, with the help of ‘click and collect’ location pop-ups dedicated to online order pickups.

ZARA’s zero advertising strategy and higher investment in store locations



Adding to its uniqueness is the no advertising strategy! Unlike other brands, ZARA does not spend dollars on marketing.

How did Zara achieve such success?

It’s ‘marketing in disguise’. It’s impossible to not find ZARA on billboards or television commercials. Having a small amount of public appearance gives a sense of exclusivity. We know people love to buy exclusive stuff.

And most importantly, it focuses on aspects other than marketing to scale its business.

The fashion mogul does not hesitate to pay the highest rents to take the iconic spots of each big city and be next to big brands like Louis Vuitton, Armani or Gucci. They draw people’s attention to their architecture or being in a busy spot. It also limits outsourcing and controls everything from design to shipping and gathering data at every stage.

Secret stores in its HQ

Surprisingly, ZARA has a fleet of secret pilot stores in its headquarters in Spain, with a team of designers designing every aspect of the store.


From the decor and light-bulb colour to the music being played and the exact positioning of clothing, these secret stores mock-up designs for its retail stores. These pilot stores are separately aligned for different categories like women’s, men’s, home, and TRF and are entirely off-limits to the public.

Since the fashion brand is not into conventional advertising, it is all into designing its stores and websites as they are the face of the brand.

Moreover, businesses wish their customers to pass in front of their stores, enter and buy. And windows and interiors play a vital role in the presentation of the clothes and collections. They take special care in the design and layout of its stores.

ZARA has a bunker in its headquarters where it has the “phantom showcases”. The interiors are spacious, comfortable and well-taken care of. Experts test, modify and find the final showcase in the streets and multiple windows in the bunker.

Learn from the best!

ZARA has redefined the fashion industry and became a huge hit. The company’s ability to predict and deliver as per the needs of its customers’ preferences and to jump onto the latest trends makes the brand stand out among others. With its top business strategies, ZARA leads the way for emerging fashion brands and even pioneers in the retail industry.

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