The Fashion Cycle Spins Faster: Zara Is Speeding Up

February 21, 2008 • Fashion

Photo: Businessweek

H&M, Mango, and Forever 21 are known for their fast fashion, but Spanish retailer Zara is probably the speediest – and they are picking up the pace.

ARTEIXO, Spain — Zara stores have set the pace for retailers around the world in making and shipping trendy clothing.

Now Pablo Isla, chief executive of parent company Inditex SA, says Zara needs to speed up.

As rivals catch up, Mr. Isla is attempting one of the fastest global expansions the fashion world has ever seen, opening hundreds of new stores and entering new markets.

To do that, as an economic downturn threatens sales, Inditex is changing the systems that have driven its success at Zara and its other store brands, to save time and money. Among the innovations, it’s introducing new methods to enable store managers to order and display merchandise faster and adding cargo routes for shipping goods.

"There has been a clear change of mentality in the company," Mr. Isla, a former tobacco executive who arrived at Inditex in 2005, said in an interview at the company’s headquarters here.

Read more Pace-Setting Zara Seeks More Speed here.

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