Our website is having a makeover! www.thecasecentre.org will be unavailable from 10h (BST) on Saturday 31 July until 17h on Sunday 1 August while our team makes the new site live.

Product details

Share this page:
Thumbnail image for 603-002-1
Reference no. 603-002-1
Prize winner
Kasra Ferdows (Georgetown University); Jose A.D. Machuca (Universidad de Sevilla); Michael Lewis (Warwick Business School)
Published in:
15 pages
Data source:
Field research


The case offers an illustration of a fast-response global supply, production, and retail network. In 2002 Zara, operating out of La Coruna in north-west Spain, was the only retailer that could deliver garments to its 507 stores in 33 countries in just fifteen days after they were designed. Its unique systems for product design, order administration, production, distribution and retailing were behind this astonishing capability. Its unconventional approach provides interesting opportunities for discussion and learning. The case is quite popular with executives, MBAs and undergraduate business students. It can be used in a remarkably wide range of courses - from a core operations management course to electives focused on international operations, operations strategy, global logistics, distribution, retailing, as well as in specialised and general executive programmes. The teaching note includes several photographs from Zara's operations in La Coruna, and the appendices are available as PowerPoint files as the teaching note supplement. This case was the winner of the 2003 Indiana University Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)-sponsored Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) International Case Competition. This case was sponsored by the Indiana University CIBER Case Collection.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.


Global supply chain; Design-product-distribution-retail integration; Fast-response networks; Fashion retailing; Queuing and inventory models; Manufacturing-marketing interface; Time-based competition; Mechanising


The events covered by this item took place in 2002.

Geographical setting


Featured company

Company name:
Fashion apparel