Today, you cannot speak of fashion without mentioning clothes, among other accessories like shoes and bags. They make up a significant part of today’s fashion world. The evolution of clothes has long moved from just a covering to a definition of personality. Now, everyone wants to be seen as stand-outs in their outfits, as it creates an impression of a high level of their financial worth, taste, and style.
Brands like Gap, H&M, Uniqlo, and Zara will always pop up on the top list when talking about quality, taste, and style. However, when considering the best clothing brand to match your taste today and in the future, you want to consider Uniqlo vs Zara. For you to discover your go-to clothing brand, this article will uncover the similarities and differences between Uniqlo vs Zara.
- The Uniqlo Brand
- The Zara Brand
- Uniqlo vs Zara Case Study- Which One Is Better?
The Uniqlo Brand
Before we study both brands, let us first have a brief knowledge of Uniqlo. Uniqlo is a Japanese clothing brand that began in 1949 in Ube, Yamaguchi, with an initial name; Ogori Shōji. The company grew and started a unisex casual wear store in 1984 in Hiroshima. Uniqlo is well known for its style, not trends.
The brand focuses on value rather than cost, believes in wearing casual clothes with soothing and affordable styles, and looking good in them. Currently, Uniqlo has thousands of stores worldwide, including notable places like Bangladesh, France, Canada, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Recently, Uniqlo opened about 26 stores in Singapore in 2021 and 15 in the UK.
More than 65% of Uniqlo’s product prices fall under €30, with most staying between €10 and €30. Uniqlo has no factories; instead, they contract manufacturers to create their products. This is a cost managing strategy, and it gives them the advantage of changing locations in their favor. To ensure the quality of their products, they contract the best craftsmen in Japan. As of August 2021, Uniqlo had a 12-month net profit increase of 66.6%, making it hit a profit mark of $1.5 billion. With this statistic, its net worth stands at $13 billion. Every year, Uniqlo recorded a sales increase of 10.2%, up to $8.1 billion.
The Zara Brand
Amancio Ortega created Zara. It is one of the world’s leading apparel companies, with its headquarters in Spain. It is part of the world’s gigantic garments retailer, Inditex group. In 1975, Amancio began his first Zara store in Galicia, Spain. And to date, that has been the firm’s headquarters. Initially, Zara was named Zorba, from the comedy-drama movie Zorba the Greek. However, the name had to be changed intuitively because a nearby bar was using the same name.
When Zara opened their first store, it was characterised by selling similar products from well-known and more expensive clothing brands. However, they opened several stores all over Spain, and in the 1980s, they changed their design style, production, and distribution strategy. This was in a bid to aid outputs and react quickly to trends, known as fast fashion. Amancio’s strategy worked because rather than just individuals, he employed efficient teams of designers and added Information Technology.
Zara is a brand that focuses on trendy outfits like clothes, footwear, head wears, and others. In 2017, it owned about 20 collections every year. It produces new collections every two weeks and makes deliveries to its stores twice every week. According to Statista, Zara’s brand value rose from $10,000,000 (ten million US dollars) in 2016 to over $13,000,000 (thirteen million US dollars) in 2021 with over 144,000 employees. Being present in 96 countries worldwide, Zara has over 144,000 employees and more than 2000 stores worldwide. You can find Zara products majorly at their local stores. Also, there is a shipping alternative for customers far away from any offline store, making it easy to make a pick and have it delivered.
Uniqlo vs Zara Case Study
Choosing clothes is often influenced by choice, based on trend, cost, durability, and design. For clothing brands such as Uniqlo vs Zara, customers are retained when they get satisfied and wowed by new products.
Among other factors relating to fashion and style, this invariably means that the production systems of these brands must constantly be up to date. More so, their marketing strategy has to be efficient to reach and keep their customers. Therefore, it is agreeable that a significant percentage of customers look into the factors highlighted above and even more when opting for a fashion brand to stick to.
Uniqlo vs Zara meets these demands; however, different heads, the same idea, and different performances, right? Now, shall we look at key factors that are important to consider when looking at the case study of Uniqlo vs Zara?
Factors to Consider When Looking Through The Case Study of Uniqlo vs Zara
The following factors are significant when analysing the case study of Uniqlo vs Zara. They are:
In terms of target customers, Zara targets customers aged between 18 and 40 years, while Uniqlo targets customers of all age ranges, meeting the daily life needs of its customers because of how simple but beautifully designed their products are. Zara’s products are usually trendy, making them not fit for younger and older ages, and just any event. Many of Uniqlo’s outfits are not selective to occasions. Agreeably, keeping up with trends is a phenomenon prominent with active people.
Uniqlo has always had simplicity as one of its descriptions among customers and analysts. This factor has helped them stick to producing clothes independently without considering the new languages of the fashion world. Besides, they define their fashion with their styles. It makes their customers more comfortable, confident, and free-willed to make choices on their outfits without being subjected to fashion pressure.
When analysing Uniqlo vs Zara, the production line is an essential factor. Uniqlo, in this case, has different clothing lines, unlike Zara that is a subsidiary of a fashion brand.
Uniqlo’s market coverage is a boom. It has its market center in Asia, precisely Japan, and China. And reportedly, China has rapid market growth. As for Zara, it has up to 60% of its market in Europe and only 20% in Asia.
Cost of Products
Due to Uniqlo’s products’ simplicity, they are less expensive than Zara’s luxurious and trendy clothes. Uniqlo’s focus is on giving outstanding quality at an affordable price. This is considered an unusual business model. The most expensive product on Uniqlo is €179.
Uniqlo has a bigger target on product value rather than the product cost. Currently, a slim-fit collar shirt on Uniqlo costs £24.90. Well, one could say Uniqlo’s products are less expensive despite their competitive quality because they regularly change producers and make orders in high volumes. Also, recalling that Uniqlo’s products are available to all demographics contributes to their low costs.
One of the reasons these companies stand out in the fashion industry is due to their supply chains. Both Zara vs Uniqlo have very productive supply chains, however, of different models.
Zara uses its supply chain; however, its resources are centralized around only its control base in Spain. On the other hand, Uniqlo does not own a supply chain; instead, it outsources and has its supply chain resources very wide, properly managed, and concentrated on Asian giants, China. This in-depth nature of Uniqlo’s supply chain gives it an advantage over Zara.
Trend and Fashion
As said earlier, Zara is a trendy brand. Due to the nature of the continuous change the fashion industry lives on, Zara undeniably is a go-to spot for trend lovers because, with Zara, you cannot run out of patience. As much as simplicity is incredible, there are still trend-hungry people who are itching to catch on to the latest design.
Also, Zara is a very reliable option for the modeling industry. Regularly, there are fashion events worldwide, and Zara’s designs stand out among other competitors.
As earlier explained, Uniqlo outsources and leases with production factories to ease their production costs. And no doubt, with this kind of production system, quality control would be a difficult task.
To crack this nut, Uniqlo implemented the Takumi system. The Takumi system involves employing a team of 400 professional craftsmen all over Japan that can produce their clothes and ensure their quality. These craftsmen are deployed to various Uniqlo’s partnering industries to ensure every needed quality. Although, there are production managers that visit these factories to receive and resolve issues relating to quality.
Inditex company, Zara, has an employee team of quality assuring officers who see the needed quality of every product. For quality maintenance, Zara’s products are subjected to about ten different quality models.
Customer Service and Feedback
Generally, offline customer service is the most effective way of handling customers because this medium allows for effective feedback for customer reviews, complaints, and recommendations. Customer feedback is then relayed to the appropriate departments, such as the production, marketing, procurement, etc., for corrections and implementation.
For Uniqlo, its main customer service channel is at its retail stores. Uniqlo’s retail stores in the US take to the tradition of relocating their new employees to local stores in Japan to understand the values and service techniques of the company.
Recently, Uniqlo established a customer satisfaction management system to handle and keep the standard and quality of customer service. Alternatively, it has a chatbot accessible from Monday to Sunday, between 9 am to 6 pm. However, the bot can only attend to general issues and FAQs.
On the other hand, Zara uses 24/7 chat support and social media support with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels.
In choosing a fashion brand that suits you, it is necessary to make a practical case study on their production system, styles and designs, features, market statistics, and other factors. Also, it is essential to understand the growth tendency and worth of these companies. From this case study of Uniqlo vs Zara, we can conclude that Zara focuses on trends, hence its high production cost. In contrast, Uniqlo focuses on simplicity and quality, thus achieving low prices on its products.