| MADRID, July 15
MADRID, July 15 Zara, the Spanish-based chain
whose "fast fashion" model has already helped make it one of the
world's biggest clothing brands, is to pioneer a new stock
control system designed to make its supply chain even speedier.
The chain's parent company Inditex SA told its
annual shareholders' meeting Zara was implementing a
microprocessor-based tagging system allowing items to be tracked
from factory to point of sale.
Inditex, the world's largest clothing retailer, long admired
for the speed with which it imitates catwalk designs and sends
them to stores around the world, said it had already put the
tagging system into 700 of its more than 6,300 stores, with its
flagship brand Zara going first out of a stable also including
Massimo Dutti and Bershka.
It would roll out the new tags at the rate of 500 more
stores a year, Chairman and Chief Executive Pablo Isla said in a
presentation to the meeting.
The Spanish retailer gave no figure for the total investment
of the radio frequency identification (RFID) system, intended to
improve the group's inventory management by instantly showing
garments that need reordering.
Tags would also improve customer service and improve
security, said Inditex.
Fast restocking of items and sizes that sell out is crucial
to maximising retailers' profits. When a Zara dress is worn by a
celebrity, for instance, shops can sell out of the item fast.
A particular size may also be in more demand in one store in
a particular neighbourhood and supplying it fast to a store
nearby helps maximise sales.
Inditex pioneered fast fashion with Zara, where designer
looks can be in shops at affordable prices within a fortnight of
It operates a centralised distribution system in which
suppliers from around the world send clothes to distribution
centres in Spain before they are dispatched to stores in its 87
(Editing by David Holmes)