Xue (Grace) Wang Tianhua (Vonnie) Tan Hsu-Fan (Kelly) Kao Yiting (Vicky) Tao Fangmin (Fay) Shen
Zara is one of the most well-known international fast-fashion companies, owned by the Spanish fashion group Inditex (Zara, 2012). The first Zara store was opened in La Coruña by Amancio Ortega Gaona in 1975. From that moment forward, Zara’s expansion has been unstoppable. By the year 1990, Zara had opened stores in Oporto, Portugal, New York, USA, and Paris, France (Inditex, 2012). Utilizing Zara’s strong brand image, Zara Home was introduced in 2003, providing housewares. Later, in 2007, the first online store was launched to sell Zara Home products ...view middle of the document...
Accordingly, factors influencing the apparel industry at large will also influence the fast fashion apparel industry.
General Environment Summary
In the apparel industry, the customers’ demands differs according to the their ages. An aging population may increase the demand for looser-fitting styles (Keane & te Velde, 2008). Additionally, population sizes may affect the demand in different apparel categories. An increase in birth rate and the proportion of pregnant woman may stimulate the growth of baby clothes and maternity clothes (Suttle, 2011). Demographic trends are important considerations in this industry.
Economic conditions are another key factor which affects the apparel industry, as clothing purchase can be a luxury purchase or “splurge” for many individuals rather than simply a necessity purchase. For instance, an economic recession may lead to a decrease of consumer’s disposable incomes which is followed by a decrease in spending on clothes. In addition, an increase in rates of personal savings may have a negative impact on demand in the apparel industry. In regards to political aspects in the apparel industry, worker’s rights and child labour laws are important to consider in order to create a legal and sustainable work environment in manufacturing (Suttle, 2011). Additionally, since the spread of international trade, many manufacturers are now established in developing countries. The cost effect of import and export taxes on the apparel industry directly affects the success of international retailers. In terms of the sociocultural segment, consumers tend to spend more on healthcare, electronics, education, travel, and leisure, and less on clothing, which drives apparel companies to develop their businesses ecologically to meet consumers’ demands (Jasuja, 2012). Most employees in the industry are women, and they are responsible for jobs in weaving, spinning, or hanging fabrics, while men take charge of technical jobs such as machine supervision. The ratio of male to female employment in these industries shows a big difference across countries and regions (Keane & te Velde, 2008). Regarding technologies in the apparel industry, there is wide use of human intelligence instead of computers in the manufacturing process. Also, digital technologies like Location-Based Mobile Technology, which allows retailers to track and communicate with customers, are used to meet the rapid changes in the apparel industry (Ziv, 2010). According to Sorescu, Frambach, Singh, Rangaswamy, & Bridges (2011), a key component to success in retailing is keeping abreast of new technologies, especially those which could make the retailer’s product outdated. With the rapid pace of technological change in the 21st century, it is vital that Zara fully understands the technological enhancements made internationally by other fast fashion retailers. Globally, since lower labour costs and sufficient raw materials are available in some developing...