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INTERNATIONALISATION OF THE SPANISH FASHION BRAND ZARA

Carmen Lopez
Ying Fan
Brunel Business School
Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management (2009), 13:2, 279-296

INTRODUCTION
Zara is one of the world’s most successful fashion retailers operating in 59 countries.
However, there is little research about the firm in English as the majority of
publications have been written in Spanish. This paper seeks to address this gap in the
literature by examining the internationalisation process of Zara. This study adopts an
in-depth case approach based on extensive secondary research. Literature published in
both English and Spanish has been reviewed, including company documents such as
annual reports. The paper starts with a brief overview of the global textile and
clothing industry, followed by the case study of Zara. The main part of the case
examines the key aspects in the internationalisation of Zara namely: motives for
internationalisation, market selection, entry strategies, and international marketing
strategies. In the final section, comparisons are made between Zara and two of its
main competitors, H&M and Gap.
The global textile and clothing industry
The removal of all import quotas in the textile and clothing industry from January
2005, involving the unrestricted access of all members of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) to the European, American and Canadian markets is considered
a key driving force in the development of the clothing sector (Keenan, et al., 2004).
This new scenario has created opportunities for large exporters like China and India

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that are considerably increasing their market share whilst at the same time creating
challenges for European Union member states in order to remain competitive
internationally.
The major trends that are restructuring and characterising the textile and clothing
sector are as follows:


The European textile and clothing industry is characterised by fragmented
production with...

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