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Design, manufacturing, marketing and retailing integration

Integrating the design, manufacturing, marketing, and retailing functions of an RTW fashion company is not only very difficult but also very rare.
image of outside and H&M store

Integrating the design, manufacturing, marketing, and retailing functions of an RTW fashion company is not only very difficult but also very rare. However, the most famous exception is the fast fashion company, Zara, one of the largest international fashion companies.

Design, manufacturing, marketing, and retailing integration

Zara uses vertical integration strategies to design, manufacture, and sell hundreds of millions of items each year through its more than 2,000 stores and online market. To facilitate speed to market, in-house design and development teams work with limited preselected materials.

On the retail side, integrated systems include using technologies to capture real-time consumer data and assure adequate and appropriate merchandise is available to customers (Figure 3.4).

An employee at Zara's offices sits in front of a computer

Figure 3.4: Designers for vertically integrated company, Zara, create patterns that are integrated with manufacturing processes

With sales and customer data linked to production and distribution systems, Zara has the ability to design and create merchandise in weeks rather than months (O’Marah, 2016).

In the next step, we look at design, manufacturing, marketing, and marketing integration.

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Fashion and the Global Supply Chain

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