|Just-in-Time State of the Art Fashion|
|Key Words||Just-in-time, cooperative, competitor, production, manufacturer, retailer, sales, delivery system, models, consumers|
Zara, a clothing manufacturer and retailer based in Spain, is unique for providing just-in-time low-cost fashion. The company designs new collections in only four or five weeks, quickly reacting to trends, such as what is stylish on a music video, in magazines, at shows, and in fashionable cafes, restaurants, and bars. A collection can be manufactured in a week, at its modern facility in northwestern Spain or at 400 cooperatives run by local seamstresses. This compares to the typical competitor's six-month design phase and three-month production period.
A new collection is test-marketed in a selection of stores around the world, and sales are monitored carefully using computer technology. If the sales are brisk, more items are produced and distributed. Deliveries are made twice a week, and clothes rarely remain on the shelf for more than a week. This just-in-time delivery system means that inventory costs are low.
Models are changed, updated, and mixed and matched frequently. This attracts consumers on a regular basis because they can buy something different each time. They are also under pressure to buy because they are unlikely to find the same item at a later date.
(Updated July 1, 2001)
|Source||Carlta Vitzthum, "Just-in-Time Fashion," The Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2001.|
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