Zara is a Spanish clothing company based in Galicia, Spain and founded in 1975 by Amancio Ortega. It is the flagship chain store of the Inditex group.
Zara: The Largest Spanish Clothes Company
When we speak about Spanish fashion the same name always comes up: Zara. It is no surprise, the Zara clothing company is one of the most famous Spanish companies in the world and their Spanish clothes and fashion can be found in nearly every continent in the world.
The Zara company was founded in 1975 by Amancio Orgega, a smalltime Galician businessman, when he decided to expand his factory in Arteixo by opening a store in La Coruña. From this moment forward, Zara embarked on a journey to become one of the most famous and prestigious brands of Spanish fashion.
Zara has had a very successful history from the very beginning. Since the moment the first Zara store's doors were opened in 1975, the growth of the Zara fashion line has been unstoppable. At first, Zara extended throughout the Galicia region to the principal cities of Vigo, Lugo, Santiago and Ourense. This first major spout of growth occurred in just the first 5 years of Zara's existence.
Zara in Spain
In the early 1980s, the Zara clothes company began to expand outside of Galicia throughout the rest of the Spanish territory. The Zara stores started opening in northwestern Spain and later in further parts of the peninsula. By 1986, there were already Zara clothing stores in most of Spain's major cities including Valladolid, Zaragoza, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Madrid, Bilbao and Malaga.
Presently, the Zara Spanish Company has 331 clothing stores distributed throughout Spain.
Zara around the world
In the year 1988, the Zara Company made the decision to venture into the international market. Zara had already experienced success among the youth of the neighboring country Portugal. Portuguese youth would cross the border into Spain to shop in the Zara stores located in Vigo and La Coruña. For this reason, Zara decided to open its first international stores in Portugal, concretely in the city of Porto.
The store was a hit and Zara decided to take the next step towards establishing itself as a Spanish fashion powerhouse. They decided to cross the Atlantic and open a store in the center of the fashion world: New York City. The next year, Zara clothing opened a store in Paris, another renowned fashion city. Upon establishing the Zara brand internationally in these principal cities, the Zara Company had truly become an iconic representation of Spanish fashion.
In the 1990s, Zara began to expand rapidly. Throughout the world there are currently (as of 2011) 1,557 stores throughout the world: 1,059 in Europe, 48 in the USA, 77 in China and many others.
Amancio Ortega, the owner of Zara, was not satisfied with only one fashion line. In fact, Zara is the main company under the Inditex Corporation. Inditex is a the world's largest fashion group to which other fashion brand names belong such as as Zara Kids, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home, Lefties and Uterqüe. Although all of these brands are fashion or textile orientated, they are aimed at different types of consumers. During the first semester of 2011, Inditex grew a stunning 12%, despite a global recession, with sales of over 6.2 billion Euros.