What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Zara-owner Inditex translates fast-fashion into big profits

Stephen Beard Mar 13, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Zara-owner Inditex translates fast-fashion into big profits

Stephen Beard Mar 13, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Shoppers around the world may have tightened their belts, but the world’s biggest clothing retailer is doing the opposite — it is expanding fast. The Spanish company Inditex, which owns Zara among other chain stores, has just unveiled an impressive set of figures: a 22 percent jump in profits.  

Large does not necessarily mean unwieldy, and Inditext is the proof. The world’s biggest clothing retailer is also one of the  nimblest; it invented fast fashion. By manufacturing more than 50 percent of its products itself the Inditex chains can respond quickly to changing tastes.

“There’s something new in the stores almost every couple of weeks which gives shoppers a reason to go back to those stores every couple of weeks,” says Rahul Sharma, a retail analyst with Neev Capital. “This makes it a very exciting place to shop; brings people in.”

In spite of the recession in Europe and economic malaise elsewhere, the model seems to be working everywhere from China to Russia to the U.S. Inditex now has 6,000 stores in 86 countries — a rare success story for Spain. The company’s founder, Amancio Ortega , has just leapfrogged Warren Buffet as the world’s third richest man. 

News and information you need, from a source you trust.

In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.

This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.

Stand up for independent news—become a Marketplace Investor today with a donation in any amount.