Zara is trending upwards—it closed Q3 of 2015 boasting 18 percent year-over-year sales growth. This growth is indicative of an increasing demand for fast fashion—largely driven by access to the upper echelons. High fashion, which used to be an invite-only community, is now widely accessible through live-blogged runway shows, and via models who share their lives on Instagram (both on and off duty). With unparalleled visibility into this once-exclusive world, more shoppers are seeking haute-inspired couture that they can own.
Zara reinforces its position in the market through its online and retail shopping experiences. All of Zara’s 2,000-plus global retail locations are strategically placed in shopping locations that cultivate associations between Zara and labels like Valentino, The Row, and Stella McCartney. The display windows in these marquee stores are also designed and dressed to be as provocative as the windows at Barney’s or Saks Fifth Avenue.
In addition, Zara’s online platform—available in 27 markets—takes on an editorial angle with lookbooks, diaries, and stylized photography. This makes the experience of visiting Zara.com feel like flipping through one’s favorite fashion magazine.
Some challenges have emerged in the past quarter, however, including a USD $40 million dollar lawsuit that was filed against Zara, accusing the company of discrimination. This fueled growing conversation around social issues in the fast fashion industry at large. But, as it has in the past, Zara continues to be proactive in reinforcing its commitment to respect and diversity within its doors, and reaching individual fashion fans around the world.