Zara, the popular clothing chain, is known for stylish designs, many resembling those of the bigname
Italian fashion houses, sold at moderate prices. Yet if it finds that customers are coming in asking for, say, a rounded neck on a vest rather than the V-neck on display, a new version with the rounded neck can be in the store within about 10 days. If Jennifer Lopez appears in a beautiful new item, Zara can get a version of it into its stores in a matter of weeks, not months.
To do that, Amancio Ortega Gaona -the company’s chairman and one of the world’s wealthiest people-, built up an elaborate distribution structure over the years. Zara’s huge warehouse features customised sorting machines that can now handle 40,000 items an hour. Trucks deliver goods to Zara stores that are within 24 hours’ driving time; stores farther away are supplied by air.
Yet for all its technical expertise, quick delivery has its limits. Zara has just 10 stores in the United States, six of them in New York. To expand there, it may need to duplicate its manufacturing and distribution system in North America, perhaps in Mexico.
June 1st 2003
I. Answer the following questions using your own words
a. Why has Zara become so commercially successful?
- Zara, the popular clothing chain, is known for stylish designs, many resembling those of the big-name Italian fashion houses, sold at moderate prices. (paragraph 1)
b. What would Zara have to do in order to become larger in the US?
- To expand in the US, it may need to duplicate its manufacturing and distribution system in North America, perhaps in Mexico. (paragraph 3)
II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)?
a. Some of Jennifer Lopez’ dresses are designed by Zara.
III. Find a word or expression in the text which, in context, is similar in meaning to:
IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct
1. Many Zara items are…
- a) designed by Italian fashion houses.
- b) similar to those designed by Italian fashion houses.
- c) designed in Italy.
- a) inexpensive.
- b) particularly popular among wealthy people.
- c) very popular among Hollywood stars.
- a) can get it in a few days.
- b) cannot get it in less than a month.
- c) have to get the one on display.
- a) by air.
- b) within 24 hours.
- c) by road and/or air.