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Zara Gap: Change the Culture, Change the Game

Join Theory, Google, H&M, McKinsey, Foot Locker, Lafayette 148, LL Bean, the Retail Prophet and more at Sourcing Journal’s Virtual Sourcing Summit, R/Evolution: Overhauling Fashion’s Outmoded Supply Chain, Oct 14 & 15.

To say that 2015 was not a good year for apparel retailers is putting it mildly. From the backup at the West Coast ports in the earlier months that cost billions to the slow sales and early discounting caused by warm winter weather at the end, and myriad other issues in between, nothing went right for the rag trade. Perhaps John Thorbeck, chairman of supply chain analytics firm Chainge Capital, put it best when he said, “Something’s got to give.”

Speaking last week at the LIM College Townhouse during Sourcing Journal’s sold-out briefing titled, “The Zara Gap and Disruptive Innovation,” Thorbeck told a room full of apparel and supply chain executives that Zara, which recorded an 18 percent increase in sales last year, has a lot of the same issues they do—the Inditex-owned retailer is just better at solving them.

“They’re simply the best students of the subject and always the most curious,” he commended. “I find that curiosity to be an important part of their culture.”

Read more at Sourcing Journal.

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