The most innovative (and largest) fashion retailer in the world is not in Paris, New York, London or Milan. It’s based in a small town called Arteixo in La Coruña, at the westernmost point of the Spanish geography, near the Finisterre or ‘Land’s End’ of Spain.
The most acclaimed fashion mogul is not Armani, Versace, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent. It’s Amancio Ortega, a 73 year-old spaniard who couldn’t be more low key. He has never given an interview and there is a grand total of about 2 pictures of him.
Yet Amancio Ortega is the owner of Inditex, the group that owns Zara and many other fashion retail brands. Ortega opened the first Zara store in 1975 in La Coruña and there are now 1.544 Zara stores in world, including some in the most exclusive and expensive areas in the world like the Champs-Elysées in Paris or the 5th Avenue in New York. All the brands in the Inditex portfolio account for 4.344 stores worldwide. In Spain many of the most trafficked areas are litterally owned by the Inditex stores.
Zara is the ultimate success story and one the is being studied in business schools worldwide. Because Zara is wildly successful and it has become so while breaking a lot of rules: no advertising, 3-4 times more items designed than any other retailer, items produced in 2 weeks instead of 6 months for the industy average.
Basically, Zara changes its collections so fast that if you go to a store and there’s something you like you buy it, because next week it won’t be there. On the other hand, if you don’t like anything, next week everything will be different. So people buy more and they return more frequently to the store…
The company has achieved this through very sophisticated IT systems and a vertical integration from manufacturing all the way to retailing. So if you are into fashion, into IT or into retail you might consider moving to La Coruña 🙂
… and don’t hesitate to start off as a salesperson in store, that’s how the big boss started and it’s a leading career path in the company.
More on Zara: Wikipedia
Typical job opportunity: Salesperson near Paris
More jobs: Vacancies