What it does: Zara brand offers men's and women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, and children’s clothing (Zara Kids). The sub-brand Zara TRF offers trendier and edgier items to younger women and teenagers.
Mission: To give customers what they want, and get it to them faster than anyone else
Size and presence: Zara has 2,264 stores located in leading cities across 96 countries
Best known for Favourite brand for people who want to keep up with the latest fashion trends
The good bits: Flexible schedule
The not-so-good bits: No benefits unless you are working full time
In 1975, Amancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera founded Zara as a family business in the northern part of Spain. It featured low-priced lookalike products of popular, higher-end fashion and clothing. Zara’s approach towards fashion and its business model attracts Spanish consumers, and within the next 8 years, they opened 9 new stores in Spain’s biggest cities.
In 1985, Inditex (one of the world's largest distribution groups) was incorporated as a holding company. This laid the foundations for a distribution system that enables them to react to the shifting market trends extremely quickly. In the next decade, Zara began aggressively expanding into global markets.
Instead of advertising, Zara uses its store displays and store location as key elements of its marketing strategy. By choosing to be in the most prominent locations in a city, Zara ensures very high customer traffic for its stores. Today Zara is the largest constituent company of the Inditex group, and even becomes one of the world’s most successful fashion retail brands – if not the most successful one.
To be able to offer the latest fashion trends at the right time and meet high standards, Zara has developed an integrated business model that is clearly customer-oriented. Store managers and sales associates are at the forefront of customer research. They listen and are attentive to even the smallest customer’s comments and ideas for fabrics, cuts, or a new line.
In addition, the design teams visit nightclubs, university campuses, and other venues regularly to observe what fashion leaders are wearing. Those hints can be an initial sign that a new trend is taking shape and have the potential to be converted into unique Zara styles. The quicker they can respond, the more likely they are able to supply the right fashion item at the right time across its global retail chain.
That is why they also set up technology-driven systems with the capability to quickly transfer the information from the stores to its headquarters in Spain, enabling decision-makers to act and respond fast to a developing trend. In Zara’s headquarters, the design team are always linked through monitors and webcam to offices in trend-spotter cities like Tokyo, New York, and Shanghai.
To apply for a position at ZARA, you need to send them a CV containing information about yourself, including contact details, language skills, educational history, qualifications, and skills from your previous workplace. Their HR team will look at the qualities they would like to see from you and whether or not you can offer the company any other additional skills.
If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview where the recruiter will ask a series of questions about your CV, qualifications, and experience of working within a similar field. You will be assessed based on your strengths and weaknesses, and why you will be best suited for the job role.
After the interview process is completed, the HR team will discuss and determine which applicants will be given the roles and contact them. If you are successful, Zara would like to see references of your previous employment. They will also inform you about the offer details, and ask you to give personal details like tax and bank account details. If you accept the offer, you will need to sign a contract of employment.
There are good opportunities for career development, although the progression is a bit slow
The annual pay at ZARA is estimated: Visual Merchandiser (AU$48,000-AU$53,000), Retail Sales Assistant (AU$43,000-57,000), Casual Sales Assistant (AU$44,000-57,000), Sales Associate (AU$46,000-59,000), Floor Manager (AU$55,000-63,000), Department Manager (AU$60,000-67,000), Store Manager (AU$66,000-83,000).
The hourly pay is approximately: Floor Supervisor (AU$29.83), Sales Associate (AU$25.58), Retail Sales Assistant (AU$25.44), Cashier (AU$25.66), Customer Service Representative (AU$25.25), Seasonal Associate (AU$29.83).
The benefits of permanent roles can include the following:
As part of their social and environmental commitment, they develop programmes that promote recycling at all stages of their product’s life cycle using recycled raw materials, as well as waste management programmes in stores and warehouses.
They also implement a used clothes collection programme to help their customers extend the useful life of their garments. They have clothes collection containers in their stores where customers can deposit the package with the clothes they wish to donate. In collaboration with local non-profit organisations, they recover garments that are no longer used and give them a second life.