Zara is a Spanish company that specializes in retail of clothes. The company was founded in 1975. Zara has become a well-known brand around the whole world and one of the leaders of the industry. The company develops and sells men’s and women’s clothes. Among the company’s brands, the following ones may be pointed out: Bershka, Oysho, Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear.
Since the company performs in the area of retail, the issues of assortment, variety and product availability are important. Assortment is a set of products a retailer offers potential customers. In fact, it is a range of products that the company is going to sell to customers. It has been mentioned that Zara proposes clothes for both men and women.
An important characteristic of assortment is variety of proposed product. The company’s assortment is characterized by a high degree of variety. First, it offers all the elements of clothes: outwear, hats, footwear, etc. Second, the company has clothes for all potential causes: casual clothes, business attire, sporty gear and elegant garments. Third, the company develops and sells clothes under a range of brands mentioned above.
Finally, the company’s assortment and performance, in general, is characterized by a high degree of product availability. The company’s products are readily available for the people from the whole world. Zara has stores in almost every country of the world. It had approximately 2000 stores around the world in 2013. In addition, the company’s clients have an opportunity to buy clothes using online stores.
Talking about distribution channels of the company, it is important to mention that the company’s distribution strategy is based on small retail stores and online shops. The company does not have large retail spaces. It usually rents retail space in large malls. It helps the company to save costs needed to maintain large trading spaces. Thus, it looks like the company employs a Profitable Merchandize Mix.
Looking at the provided features, it is ossible to say that the company’s philosophy toward assortment is based on the goal to propose the widest assortment of clothes for every possible category of customers from the whole world. The company offers suitable clothes to every age category of customers. Also, there are different price categories of products.
As a result, the company is able to cover the widest target audience. In the end, it creates an effective and profitable merchandise mix. Broad target audience and wide network of stores around the world create stable and high cash inflows for the company. The so-called complementary merchandise supports all these factors. It means that the company performs complementary sales when not only one product is sold but also complementary accessories and other products. For example, a person buys not only outwear, but also appropriate footwear. That is why it is not surprising that the company has been demonstrating satisfying financial results for the last decades.
The only thing one can recommend is that the company should develop its online stores. The world is going to be totally dependent on the Internet in the nearest future. Thus, Zara will be able to obtain the highest revenues from online sales. The company should maintain such a high level of assortment of its products. Probably, it should also pay more attention to accessories such as wallets, ties, etc.
The Marketing Promotion Mix is as important as the Merchandise Mix. Zara uses a quite aggressive marketing mix. First of all, the company advertises its products using all the possible channels – from the Internet to billboards in the streets. This is because the target audience of the company includes people belonging to all possible age categories. In addition, the company pays special attention to the online segment as the most promising.
Second, the company explores a wide range of promotional strategies in sales. For example, seasonal discounts are a traditional practice for this kind of retail. The company uses different discount strategies and pricing instruments according its location. Therefore, the company considers local mentality and culture in its sales strategy.
Third, the company pays a lot of attention to publicity. It tries to be socially and environmentally responsible for the purpose of creating positive image on the market. Such image increases the degree of customers’ loyalty to the company. Eventually, high degree of customers’ loyalty is realized in better financial results.
Mystery Shopping is a (market) research method used to analyze the quality of consumers’ experiences when carrying out a particular transaction. Usually, a researcher will disguise himself/herself as a consumer and will access a certain service offered by a particular organization (“Defining Mystery Shopping”).
Simply speaking, mystery shopping is an instrument to research quality of services in a store pretending to be a simple customer. This instrument has been used to explore the quality of services in one of Zara’s stores. A researcher behaved himself like a typical client that wanted to buy an element of clothes. He required consultations and help from personnel. Then the mystery shopper tried to exchange a purchased item for another one. The following aspects have been explored:
Availability of products;
Assortment of products and its variety;
Correspondence between price and quality of products;
The degree of comfort of the store;
The degree of a consultant’s professionalism and loyalty to a customer;
Desire and ability of the store to follow all the complaints and requirements of a customer.
In conclusion, the researcher revealed that the analyzed store was characterized by a high degree of assortment, optimal correspondence between price and quality and supportive overall environment for a potential buyer. However, the consultant’s professionalism and desire to follow all the customer’s requirements should be a bit higher. These improvements will only bring the company benefits.