9,488 $m
Zara, the Spanish fast-fashion retailer, experienced a sharp increase in brand value this year (18%). Zara’s long-admired business model has kept customers happy and the company in top form, despite harsh global economic conditions. Zara continues to leverage its enviable logistics system, which enables store managers to communicate directly with designers — providing them with valuable information on what is and isn’t selling. In turn, Zara’s customers are able to find (and purchase) clothes that keep them looking fashion forward. In September 2011, Zara launched online sales in the US and, in March 2012, opened an expansive and highly sustainable flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue to much fanfare. The US was not Zara’s only focus this past year. The brand announced plans to open a fifth store on London’s Oxford Street and yet another store in Madrid — on the city’s high-end calle Serrano. Zara has also expanded its presence in China, where it recently launched an online shop. And Zara has made forays into countries such as Taiwan, South Africa, and Peru as well. Strategic global expansion, a commitment to sustainability efforts, and keeping consumer demands front and center, Zara continues to be a leading global retail brand.