Many U.S. apparel retailers are choking on slow-moving inventories as consumers hold back on spending. But Spain's Inditex, whose Zara chain pioneered cheap chic, is zipping ahead. The $13.8bn company, which is closing in on Gap for the title of world's biggest clothing retailer, has nearly quadrupled sales, profits, and locations since 2000. This year, Inditex plans to expand by up to 640 stores. "They will weather the storms better than most of their rivals," says Michael Lewis, a supply management professor at University of Bath's School of Management.
Inditex's secret? Besides selling relatively cheap clothes, which fit the times, the company maintains an iron grip on every link in its supply chain.
Source: Business Week
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