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ZARA Case Study- PESTLE - SWOT Analysis

Zara, the leading clothing and accessories brand based in Spain, is ruling the fashion market for more than 40 years now. Zara now has become synonymous to fast and affordable fashion items.

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CASE STUDY - ZARA - PESTLE
Profileof Zara
Zara is a Spain-based clothing and accessories retailer founded by husband-
wife duo Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera under the umbrella of Inditex
Group. Inditex is a large multinational conglomerate, which is made up of
almost 10 companies, which specialize in clothing. Zara’s estimated share of
the total revenue of Inditex Group is 80% (Włodzimierz, 2012). Its uniqueness
of tracking and involving customers’ preferences made Zara the market leader
in the apparel industry. The three products lines of Zara are women, men and
children are showcased through its 1700+ stores and an online store all over
the world. Zara is noted for selling modern designs that the public needs with
quality at affordable prices. Fashion director Louis Vuitton described it as the
most devastating retailer in the world. CNN has called it a Spanish success
story.
Zara - Details
Type of Industry
Headquarters
Sales/Revenue
Area Served
Number of
Stores
Competition
USP
Target Group
Products
Website
Lifestyle and Retail
Artexio, Spain
83.26 Million
Worldwide
1923 in 88 countries
Mango, Uniqlo and H&M, GAP, Benetton
Perfect combination of high end fashion at
affordable price
People with high and medium purchasing power
who love stay in fashion
Clothing line for women, men and children
www.zara.com
SWOT Analysis -
PESTLE Analysis of ZARA
This study is conducted to understand the market potential of
Zara internally and externally. In this study, we are going to
analyze the internal and external market environment of Zara
and sharing some suggestions that the company should consider
continuing their success. For the purpose of the study, the data
presented here, is collected from various published sources and
different case studies conducted on Zara. We have used two
market analysis methods SWOT and PESTLE analysis to review
Zara’s business frameworks.
SWOT Analysis
Strength stands for all those aspects of the company, which
give it a competitive advantage over other company.
Weakness stands for the all the aspects which give the rival
companies a competitive advantage.
Opportunities are the areas of potential advantage, which the
company can use profitably in future in order to outpace its
rivals.
Threats are those areas, which the company needs to be
careful about if it wants to dominate the market.
SWOT Analysis

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ZARA Case Study- PESTLE - SWOT Analysis

  • 1. CASE STUDY - ZARA - PESTLE
  • 2. Profileof Zara Zara is a Spain-based clothing and accessories retailer founded by husband- wife duo Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera under the umbrella of Inditex Group. Inditex is a large multinational conglomerate, which is made up of almost 10 companies, which specialize in clothing. Zara’s estimated share of the total revenue of Inditex Group is 80% (Włodzimierz, 2012). Its uniqueness of tracking and involving customers’ preferences made Zara the market leader in the apparel industry. The three products lines of Zara are women, men and children are showcased through its 1700+ stores and an online store all over the world. Zara is noted for selling modern designs that the public needs with quality at affordable prices. Fashion director Louis Vuitton described it as the most devastating retailer in the world. CNN has called it a Spanish success story.
  • 3. Zara - Details Type of Industry Headquarters Sales/Revenue Area Served Number of Stores Competition USP Target Group Products Website Lifestyle and Retail Artexio, Spain 83.26 Million Worldwide 1923 in 88 countries Mango, Uniqlo and H&M, GAP, Benetton Perfect combination of high end fashion at affordable price People with high and medium purchasing power who love stay in fashion Clothing line for women, men and children www.zara.com
  • 4. SWOT Analysis - PESTLE Analysis of ZARA This study is conducted to understand the market potential of Zara internally and externally. In this study, we are going to analyze the internal and external market environment of Zara and sharing some suggestions that the company should consider continuing their success. For the purpose of the study, the data presented here, is collected from various published sources and different case studies conducted on Zara. We have used two market analysis methods SWOT and PESTLE analysis to review Zara’s business frameworks.
  • 5. SWOT Analysis Strength stands for all those aspects of the company, which give it a competitive advantage over other company. Weakness stands for the all the aspects which give the rival companies a competitive advantage. Opportunities are the areas of potential advantage, which the company can use profitably in future in order to outpace its rivals. Threats are those areas, which the company needs to be careful about if it wants to dominate the market.
  • 8. Zara possesses 90% of its stores in 88 countries including United States, Europe, Asia, Middle East and many, and the rest is the joint ventures or franchises. It boasts in-house production factories within proximity of the headquarters (Hill, Jones & Schilling, 2014). It affords the company self-containment throughout the stages of its supply chain: raw material selection, production, distribution etc. Here is a graphical representation of Zara supply chain for better understanding Strong Control Over Supply Chain
  • 9. Adroit Design Strategy Traditionally, fashion companies use media in order to promote season’s trend. On the other hand, Zara is called “fashion imitator” because instead of predicting trends, it imitates the trends of the season and provides such fashion trend to its customer at the minimum amount of time possible. Zara maintains a supply chain that enables them to embrace the fast- changing tastes of its customers. It introduces new clothing models within few weeks only (Crandall, Crandall & Chen, 2014). It reacts quickly designs new styles, gets them into stores in few days.
  • 10. In-House Production and No Outsourcing Zara does not outsource its products in the hope of its reducing labor cost. Instead of outsourcing its work to cheap labor markets of Asia, it makes the most out of the cheap labor supply of Portugal and Galicia. This retailer giant is vertically integrated, unlike its competitors, H&M, Gap, Benetton, control its designs, and R&D facility production facilities, distribution centers, transport fleet, and 90% of its shops (Włodzimierz, 2012). When the company is paying for factory time in China, the company does not own the company, they are a number of uncertainties they will counter. It helps the company to reduce the cost of warehouses as shipping is done from production factories itself.
  • 11. Efficient Production Management Zara produces more designs than all its rivals. As we mentioned earlier it produces about 10,000 designs annually as opposed to only 2000 designs for its rivals. Fast response to its customers’ demand enables Zara to meet customer’s expectations and ultimately that lead them to success. Such demand management lacked in Marks & Spenser and to some extent with Sainsbury, they did not match their product with their customers’ expectations and this led the companies into trouble. Zara’s design-to-stock- cycle varies from 4 to 6 weeks compared to the average six months of the traditional industry.
  • 12. Zara Product Design Strategy Zara commits six months in advanced to only 15% to 25% of a season’s line, which means it produces 50% of its clothes are designed and manufactured in the middle of the season. If trends change, Zara reacts quickly, designs new styles according to the new fashion trends. With the help of their efficient vertically integrated supply chain, they get the designs into the stores while the trends are still peaking.
  • 13. Large Distribution Network and Greater Reach Zara has 1923 stores across 88 countries in Africa, America, Asia- Pacific and Europe. Higher number of stores means greater distribution network and greater reach to the customers.
  • 15. 1975 - Opened its first Zara Store in downtown A Cortuna, Spain 1990 - Opened first Zara store outside Spain in Oporto, Portugal, then expanding to New York (1989) and Paris (1990) 2002 - Introduced its new distribution hub in Zaragoza, Spain 2003 - Opened first Zara home outlet 2004 - Unveiled store in Hong Kong, expanding global footprint to 56 countries 2007 - Introduced first online store to global consumers 2010 - Opened its first store in Bulgaria, India and Kazakhatan, increasing its presence to 77 countries 2011 - Opened online Zara stores in the USA and Japan 2012 - Revamped image based on four principals – beauty, clarity, functionality, and sustainability.
  • 16. Strategic Locations of the Stores Zara stores have been popping up all over the world. The company invests a handsome amount of money buying storefronts beside luxurious brands to own the label of luxurious brands. It choose its locations very carefully to cater local customer by understanding their needs. They also follow tailored retail strategies to satisfy customers according seasonal trends
  • 17. Affordable Prices Owing to its affordable brand label, customers get to enjoy high- end fashion clothes at affordable prices. Zara’s apparel pricing ranges from $5 to $322, however, the average price point at Zara is $48. While comparing its prices with its one of the biggest competitor H&M, the differential pricing structures of these two brands can be noticed. H&M’s most priced bracket in tops is $20 - $30, whereas, Zara’s is $40 - $50.
  • 19. Self-Contained Distribution System Centralized distribution system is the biggest problem of Zara. If there is any technical snag occur in the distribution network then the whole system can collapse. But in other apparel companies, the distribution networks are decentralized and not self- contained like Zara. As such even if one part of the network falls, there is no wholesale collapse of the entire network. Zara controls its production, suppliers, distribution system, retails stores, unlike its rivals that make it prone to unpredicted problems.
  • 20. Imitator, not Creator The Fast Fashion strategy also has its own set of weaknesses. Zara can never be one of the premium luxury brands in the fashion world because it is considered as the great fashion imitator since it usually imitates runway fashion rather than predicting the styles of the season (Hansen, 2012). No doubt it provides its customers high-end designs, but its designers play smart a trick by copying designs of fashion week, rather creating some original on their own.
  • 21. Spends Zero Revenue on Their Advertisement Zara does not spend much money on advertising. It has a zero advertising policy unlike its rival Benetton, H&M and GAP (Hansen, 2012). However, some of the major names of the glamour world are the brand ambassador of these companies. One of the biggest marketing moments for Zara was when Kate Middleton wore Zara dress ($49.99) the day after her wedding to Price William (Dailymail.co.uk, 2016). However, this zero ad policy gives its rival greater public exposure.
  • 23. Scope for Global Expansion Zara has global market penetration. The company has market presence in all the four major continents. However, it still needs more expansion in Africa and Asia. In Africa, it has stores only in Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The company has more opportunities here. Africa has full potential stored for this company. Similarly in Asia, countries like China and Japan have more stores than India, Singapore, UAE and Saudi Arabia despite that fact that these countries have a substantial number of rich people.
  • 24. Expand in E-Commerce Sector Another area is online marketing where the company needs to concentrate. The reason is most of the other companies like Benetton and GAP do not have good online marketing channels. Zara is already operating numerous online stores for a number of countries. However, it needs to expand its base for other countries as well in which online shopping is not available. It needs to invest more revenue in e-commerce sector in giving their products more exposure in front of their customers.
  • 25. More Attention to Distribution Network Finally, distribution network in the US needs to increase while keeping the basic elements in mind. Statistics projects that US has only 52 Zara stores as compared to 453 in Spain, 157 in China, 92 in Japan and 84 in Russia. The huge geographical expanse of US calls for a greater number of stores. A large population of US requires more stores to satisfy the needs of the growing customer base in the US.
  • 27. Fierce Competition Zara experiences fierce competition, not only locally but also globally. Locally Zara faces competition from Sweden’s H&M and in-house brands like Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius, whereas, on the global platform, it faces competition with international brands such as in the US, the toughest competition is from the US based GAP.
  • 28. No Collaboration with International Designers Zara shares no collaboration with international designers unlike H&M, which has collaborated profitably with international designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Lanvin, and Alexander Wang. This can be a serious threat to the company. When a company collaborates with an internationally noted designer, young shoppers get interested in buying designer labels.
  • 30. PESTLE, one of most popular marketing tools, helps to analyze the external factors that affect an organization. PESTLE is mostly used when manager attempt to identify factors pose as threats to the organization or the opportunity that company can use to climb the ladder of success. PESTLE is acronyms of six essentials factors,
  • 31. Political factors refer to the policy of the government that involves legal and economic aspects Economic factors mainly demonstrate the changes in taxation, inflation in economic growth, the rate of exchange and rates of interest. Social factors mainly highlight any alteration in trends in the society, and its potential effect on the company’s consumers. Technological factors concentrate on the advancement of technology and how the development of technology benefits to the customers. Legal factors purely talk about litigation or legal procedure that company has to undergo Environmental factors refer global situations like global warming, greenhouse effect, natural calamities, etc.
  • 32. Government Intervention Government Intervention: Whenever, Zara plans to expand its roots to another country. It has to know the entire system before taking any permanent step. The reason is, the government of a country can easily change its policy, which will affect on the company’s operation. British Riot Situation: Whenever, Zara plans to expand its roots to another country. It has to know the entire system before taking any permanent step. The reason is, the government of a country can easily change its policy, which will affect on the company’s operation. Expanding Business in Europe: Zara is planning to expand its business in the Europe Union because of its safe and prediction economic circumstances. It will help the company to predict its market growth because Europe economy rarely changes
  • 33. Economic Factors Fluctuating Economy Zara has been witnessing fluctuation in last few years, but Zara is drawing its revenues successfully for last years. The recession in 2011, has not affected the company as such. The reason is, Zara deals in dollars and safer currency for its dealings. The company always evaluates the economical condition and currency rates of that country before entering its new markets (Knox, Agnew & McCarthy, 2014). Prices differences in various countries Due to different customs duties and level of tariffs in various countries, the prices of Zara products vary in different countries. Here is a comparative study conducted by newspaper El Confidential demonstrating pricing differences in various countries, 22% to 24% higher in France, Italy and Germany.
  • 34. Social Factors Sizes of Clothes 6 -16: Keeping societal factor in mind, Zara creates its products while keeping the basic factors like, geographical position, race and origin of the country population. So you can find clothes for someone who is very skinny or for someone who is heavy weighter. It gives the company a societal advantage. Discounts and offers: It is in our habit to incline to perceive add-ons such bonus packs as gains so as price discounts. Zara provides promotional codes, vouchers and offers deals to its customers. Zara promotes its products by various coupon sites where one can find its discount codes, which can be redeemed at their online shopping site or store.
  • 35. Technological Factors Launching Apps for Feasibility of Customers: Zara tactfully uses information technology to support its international logistic system and an online store where exchange and return of products are involved. Zara gives its customers the chance to buy its products by iPod and in-house apps (Forbeswelcome, 2016). Interactive Maps to locate the store: Zara projects a store locator on the website where you can easily locate a store by entering your desired region and location. The store locator will show you the closest stores around the entered location. Hence, it gets easier for the consumers to discover stores as the online maps show the exact location of the store. New Experience with Zara iPad app: Zara’s attempt in online shopping is revolutionizing the entire online buying experience. With just a few clicks on your iPad’s Zara online shopping app, you will now be able to conference with your friend while looking at the clothes on your tablets. This technology gives any buyer the opportunity to involve their friend’s suggestions while shopping for their own. The options like video chat, instant messaging and voice chat are available (Thestir.cafemom.com, 2016).
  • 36. Environmental Factors Earthquake in Japan A series of disasters struck Japan in 2011, the tsunami was one the biggest one that devastated Japan in many ways. For the apparel industry and its supply chain, the short-term impact can affect organizations in log term. Damage to local infrastructure, power irruptions, closed ports are many few among the problems that apparel industry faced during this time. Asian Countries require rapid fashion change: Weather in Asian countries is totally different from the European countries. Five extreme seasons rule the weather, whereas winter rule in European countries. Variation in seasons requires rapid fashion change based on the local weather. Instead focusing on seasonal changes, Zara sells clothes for the normal weather.
  • 37. Legal Factors Litigation changes in different countries: The government of Russia, India and Mexico provides their own version of corporate policies, and the company has to alter operation according to the set policies. In this manner, the pressure is always on the Zara products in terms of ensuring that they are following proper litigation in their business operations. Copyright Issues: Big fashion retailers like Zara value their brand equity because they develop a bond with their customers through their brand names and trademarks. But sometimes, it becomes impossible for the organization to implement copyright law. It is true that the Zara launch its new design, you will find the same design at lower cost at some local shops. But sometimes the company itself face few copyright issues, the recent one with global brand Fendi. Roman fashion brand Fendi claimed that Zara had unlawfully used their photographs that had been taken from Fendi’s show in the 2013 fashion week.
  • 39. It might be said that Zara has the potential to be largest clothing retailer in the world. However, fast fashion policy must also go hand in hand with aggressive marketing using all modes of marketing channels. Distribution network must expand especially in Africa and America to get the maximum exposure for the brand. After assessing its internal and external factors, it is noticed that Zara manages to stay up at the revenue growth due to its unique and strong model of the business. It is advisable that the company should continue to launch creative and fresh fashion to satisfy the need of customers. Based on SWOT and PESTLE analysis, Zara will stay as the leader in the apparel industry is spite of the challenges and threats it would face. Its unique supply chain infrastructure and efficiency of the business operation give the company the competitive advantage, which reflects in their sales and revenues. CONCLUSION