In-Depth Business Model Of Zara – Detail Explanation

Updated on: Sep 21, 2021
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Inditex, or Zara as it is known around the world, is the world’s largest garment manufacturing corporation. Zara is a Spanish clothing and accessory company founded in 1975 by Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera in Arteixo, Spain. The business model relies on its fast-fashion specialty, which includes apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty, swimwear, perfumes, and so on.

In this piece, we’ll delve into Zara’s business model to better understand how the company does business around the world. We’ll also learn about the revenue-generating tactics, which enable the business to produce money. So, without further ado, let’s get this discussion started –

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About Zara

Zara began as a small, basic clothes store and has since grown to become one of the most well-known and recognized fast-fashion brands in the world. It is noted for producing over 840 million items each year through 6300 outlets in 85 countries throughout the world.

Inditex (parent company of brand Zara) has grown to become one of the world’s leading fashion retail organizations, with over 7000 outlets worldwide and the effective popularisation of eight fashion retail brands under its umbrella brand architecture. Zara’s first store debuted in 1975 in the lovely European country of Spain.

It’s known for having the perfect mix of high-end, stylish clothing at reasonable costs. This company’s excellence is what makes it a must-have fashion brand for everyone. Zara originally entered the Indian market in 2010, with the opening of its first store in Delhi. 

Zara is now found in every country on the planet. Zara is an environmentally conscious company. It is one of the few brands that is known for producing clothing that is completely devoid of harmful substances. Zara is regarded for being the first to introduce new fashion trends to the market.

Let’s begin with the introduction of the business model and also mainly discussing the key structures of the company. 

Business Model of Zara

Zara is one of the firms producing fast fashion, and it is also one of the world’s largest apparel retailers, thanks to its useful and well-organized business plan.

Zara’s business strategy is based on vertical integration and logistics trade-offs. Zara’s success and global recognition are largely due to these two techniques. Vertical integrations assist the organization in maintaining control over all of its verticals, such as design, manufacturing, shipping, and distribution.

Let’s get to know in detail. 

Fast Fashion in Business Model of Zara

Before delving into the various facets of Zara’s business strategy, it’s important to grasp one key notion on which the company is founded: rapid fashion.

The concept of fast manner is comparable to that of FMCG (Fast-moving Consumer Goods). Fast fashion is typically employed to appeal to a young adult and middle-aged demographic. This type of clothing does not go out of style; rather, it runs out of stock.

This concept has been adopted by several companies, including Forever 21, H&M, and others. However, there is something unique and efficient about Zara’s business model that makes it more successful than other clothing retailers. Now let’s learn about the key strategies in Zara’s business model. 

Key Strategies of Zara’s Business Model

Zara’s business model is one of the most important factors in its global expansion and unbridled success. It employs tactics such as vertical integration at a high level and a systematic value chain model. The company’s value model focuses on integrating multiple aspects of the business, such as design, manufacturing, distribution, and proper raw material supply. The following are some of the primary strategies that the company is developing.

Integration on a Vertical Scale

Vertical integration is one of the aspects that distinguishes Zara’s business model. It oversees the design, manufacture, distribution, management, shipment, promotion, and sales entirely on its own using this method. Being vertically integrated brings many advantages. The brand has complete control over every part of its business and can effectively manage it.

Furthermore, this technique allows for natural or fluid communication between the company’s many stages or segments – design, manufacture, and transportation. Zara will be able to develop more efficient supply and distribution channels as a result of this.

Trade-offs in Logistics

Due to advanced booking of the area by competitors, the company is continually at risk of losing production space. Zara is known for producing primarily in Europe, which is a costly endeavor.

Zara makes the majority of its money in Europe. According to statistics, Europe accounts for around 66 percent of total sales, Asia for approximately 20%, and America for approximately 14%.

Zara can avoid the cost of vertical integration by generating the majority of its sales in Europe. Other corporations are unable to coordinate this circumnavigation due to their significant reliability over low-cost Asian labor.

Design and Manufacturing Control

Zara keeps the design and manufacturing verticals close to the management centers to maintain close interaction and control.

It ensures that only higher-quality garments are produced. The utilization of high-quality equipment in conjunction with skilled workers has a significant impact on the quality of the clothing produced.

Quick Cycle of Product Replacement

Zara can quickly and consistently modify designs in response to changing trends because all of the products are made in Europe. It reminds me of Zara’s lightning-quick product replacement strategy, which was unmatched and unrivaled.

This replacement cycle benefits the apparel company in two ways. To begin with, it assists the business in staying. Furthermore, it aids in the transfer of trends and the adaptation to client requests. Second, this cycle pushes buyers to buy garments regularly because the clothes that are in style today may be replaced by ones that aren’t.

The steps in this product cycle are as follows:

  • Patterns, new styles, customer demand, weather, and other factors are observed and recognized.
  • Design and production
  • Distribute and re-distribute as needed.
  • Sell to the customer and then sell to them again current with current trends.

Lack of Promotion

Zara, ironically, does not use advertising as one of its marketing techniques. Catalogs and branding on shopping bags are the most effective forms of advertising. It benefits the brand since it is essential to retaining the brand’s authenticity, luxury, and uniqueness.

The company items are far less expensive than those of luxury labels, yet the lack of advertising helps to maintain the brand’s luxury image.

These are the business model strategies led by Zara to enhance and upgrade its products and services. Let’s wrap the case study with a conclusion. 

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The concept of fast fashion has dominated the world in recent years. Fast fashion guarantees that clothing is produced in accordance with current trends and customer requests. Because the company is vertically integrated, it may suffer losses as a result of other companies paying for factory space in advance. Zara’s sales in Europe may be enough to compensate for this loss. Different tactics include retail location specificity, synchronization, and coordination among the company’s numerous regulations, and so on.

Despite being a fast-fashion company, Zara has a competitive advantage over its competitors due to the effectiveness of its business model. One of the main reasons for Zara’s high success rate is its unrivaled and exceptional business model.

How effective do you think Zara’s business model is? Leave your ideas in the comments section. Try IIDE’s free Digital Marketing masterclass if you want to learn more about digital marketing. Thank you for spending your time with us by reading this case study.


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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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