Decoding Inditex’s assortment and pricing strategies
When Inditex hit the €26 billion sales mark in 2018, the Spanish clothing group confirmed its position as the undisputed leader in fast fashion. During the same period, H&M increased sales to 244.2 billion Swedish krona (€23.7 billion), while the second largest fashion chain in Spain, Mango, ended the year with revenues of €2.23 billion. In partnership with Retviews, a fashion analytics company, FashionNetwork.com compares the value propositions of these three brands and evaluates the offering and pricing strategy of each Inditex business.
Without a doubt, Zara is Inditex’s star performer. A key driver of revenue, that label alone generated sales of €8.89 billion in the first half of 2019, up by 7.3% on the previous year. Zara accounts for 69% of Inditex’s global sales. By contrast, H&M said revenues reached €10.2 billion during the same period.
But looking beyond their sales performance, how do these mass production companies compare in terms of assortment mix? According to Retviews, there are no big differences between Zara, Mango and H&M’s assortment strategies. Accessories, dresses and T-shirts are focal points across all three brands, while the most evident difference is in the ‘others’ category, which includes lingerie, nightwear, sportswear and swimwear. H&M leads the way here, with this category representing 18.6% of its total assortment, while Zara lags behind with 10.5%. That is because Oysho is Inditex’s dedicated innerwear brand, making Zara a destination for outerwear and trend-led pieces.
In terms of pricing strategies, Mango stands out as the most expensive of the three brands with an average price of €39.80, followed by Zara which has an average price of €35.90 and H&M’s €26.20. H&M also has the lowest minimum price of all three, reaching just €1.49, compared to €3.95 at Zara and €5.99 at Mango. But it seems the Swedish retail giant is not afraid of high prices, with a maximum price of €399. Zara’s maximum price is just €279, while Mango is again identified as the most expensive of the three brands under review with a maximum price of €599.
Zara has the smallest price range, which is reflected in the ‘dresses’ category. Here, Zara’s average price is €41.99 and its most frequent price reaches €49.95. Meanwhile, the average dress at H&M will set you back €37.28 and dresses are most frequently sold for €29.99. Zara is more expensive when it comes to dresses. According to the report, more than half of the dresses collection at Zara retails for €30 to €50, while the majority of dresses at H&M are in the €20 to €40 price range.
Each brand within the Inditex portfolio behaves in a slightly different way, with tailored pricing structures and assortment mixes based on their value proposition and target market. Zara serves men, women and children, and 14.7% of its assortment is made up of dresses. T-shirts are also important, accounting for 14.9% of the range. Womenswear is the top moneymaker, generating 34.6% of sales, followed by Zara Home (26.8%), Zara Man (15.7%) and Zara Kids (22.9%). Interestingly, Zara Home has only been recently integrated into the Zara brand, and Zara will become the only childrenswear retailer in the group once Massimo Dutti completes phasing out the segment this summer. Within Zara, the menswear collection is sold at the highest average price of €36.20, mainly due to the large proportion of outerwear and suits, which account for 22% of the assortment.
Massimo Dutti is also known for its menswear. Aimed at the same age demographic as Zara, the brand has a more aspirational profile with classic looks and elevated classics. Accessories, trousers and outerwear make up 47.4% of the assortment. Massimo Dutti’s more refined image is reflected in its pricing, with the brand having the highest average price within Inditex, reaching €88.70 compared to €36.60 at Zara and under €23 at every other brand. And Massimo Dutti has the second strongest menswear focus after Pull&Bear, whose menswear collection accounts for 41.6% of the assortment. At Massimo Dutti, menswear represents 41% of the full range. With an average price of €55.10. Shirts make up 19.3% of the men’s collection, compared to 14% at Zara. The collection is also larger in terms of sizing, with 2.6 average available sizes in Zara shirts compared to 5.7 average available sizes in Massimo Dutti shirts. As for suits, a three-piece number will cost €408 at Massimo Dutti, while Zara takes a more relaxed approach with more affordable suits retailing for an average of €170.
Aimed at a younger audience, Pull&Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius focus their efforts on more affordable product categories like T-shirts and accessories. The group’s second largest brand in terms of revenue, Bershka, also places significant importance on shoes, with sneakers having a big presence (36.7%), compared to Pull & Bear (32.1%) and Stradivarius (18.8%).
Both Pull&Bear and Bershka release more T-shirts than any other product, beating Zara by up to 30%. The Retviews report also highlighted the use of colour, with vibrant colours (excluding black, white and grey) accounting for 34% of Pull&Bear’s tees collection. For Zara, this share amounts to 29.8%. In terms of accessories, Stradivarius is Inditex’s undeniable leader. The category accounts for 26.8% of the assortment mix at Stradivarius. Leather accessories (18.4%), jewellery (18.3%), and bags (15.3%) dominate the category.
Finally, Oysho is dedicated to nightwear and intimates, two categories that represent 31.6% and 27.1% of its assortment mix. Sportswear is becoming an increasingly important focus, growing to 10.2% of the total offering, while swimwear has a 14.5% share of the assortment mix.
The report reveals details about Inditex’s approach to collaborations, with partnerships with Disney, Marvel, Tidal and music brands helping drive T-shirt sales at various brands. Around 5% of Bershka’s and Pull&Bear’s collections are T-shirt collaborations, while this drops to just 1.6% and 1.5% at Stradivarius and Zara. According to Retviews, the average price for licensed T-shirts is 41.5% higher than regular tees, meaning customers are ready to splash out more to get their hands on licensed T-shirts and sweatshirts.
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