There are a number of Spanish companies that are well known all over the world. Whether you are out shopping for clothes on the high street, withdrawing money from the bank, or putting petrol in your car, the chances are high that you could be dealing with at least one Spanish company. Some of the businesses in Spain are the biggest companies in the world in their respective sectors. Spanish corporation like Inditex, which owns the Zara clothing chain, and Santander Bank, the Euro zone's largest bank, are both Spanish companies based in Spain.
The success of modern day Spanish industry would not have been possible without the Spanish Miracle that took place between 1959 and 1974. This economic boom transformed the country from being an outdated rural nation relying on a few old fashioned industries into a major industrial economy producing a wide range of goods for a growing domestic market. Without the Spanish Miracle, many modern day Spanish companies would simply not exist or would not be as successful as they currently are.
Spanish clothing companies are well known around the world largely thanks to the success of brands like Zara clothing and Mango. Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera, who founded Zara in 1975, have gone on to become Spain's richest man and woman respectively with Ortega's estimated fortune standing at around 31 billion dollars. Ortega is also the chairman of Inditex, which is the world's largest fashion group. Inditex was set up in 1985 by Ortega and Mera and it currently owns over 100 businesses all related to textile design, production and distribution. The corporation was born from the success of Zara but is now responsible for the majority of clothing brands on the Spanish high street including Pull & Bear, Stradivarius and Massimo Dutti, among many others. Many of these originally Spanish companies have, like Zara, gone on to become hugely successful in other countries in Europe and beyond.
Zara is renowned for being able to produce affordable Spanish clothing that is up to date with the latest fashions. The company famously claims that it takes them only two weeks to develop a product and get it on sale in stores. This is impressive considering that the average in the clothing industry is closer to six months. The Spanish company Zara is able to do so due to the fact that, in spite of the immense size of its operations, it manufactures the majority of its clothing in Spain and Portugal rather than in cheaper far eastern countries; like many others companies in the fashion industry. The ability to produce new items quickly means that Zara clothing collections and products have a quicker turn over than many other retailers allowing them to keep up with constantly changing trends. As a result, they are able to enhance sales by keeping up with consumer preferences. The limited availability of some of the Spanish clothing giant's products also encourages customers to visit its stores more often. In Spain it is believed that customer will visit an average high street retailer three times over the course of a year, however in Zara's case, this figure rises to seventeen times.
Another of Zara's unconventional traits is that it has a zero advertising policy. The company instead chooses to invest the money saved in order to open new stores and therefore increase brand awareness. This has lead to criticism from its rivals; including more luxury fashion brands who have accused Zara, due to their reluctance to advertise, of being a fashion imitator.
Nevertheless, the Spanish company's success cannot be ignored and Zara now has presence in over 73 countries, making Spanish clothes popular worldwide. Spain is home to some 335 Zara clothes stores, which is far more than any other country in the world. In comparison to Spain, France has 115 stores and Italy 87. In Great Britain, the Spanish clothing chain has also taken off and Zara UK currently has 66 stores there, reflecting its growing popularity. Zara's unrivalled success has given this Spanish company the ability to influence fashion around the world. In fact, Zara is often described as a Spanish business that truly reflects the Spanish Miracle in its own right.