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Zara uses operations research to reengineer its global distribution system




Management Science and Operations

Authors / Editors

Gallien J;Caro F;Correia J;Garcia J;Montes M;Ramos J A;Corredoira J M

Publication Year



Overcoming significant technical and human difficulties, Zara recently deployed a new process that relies extensively on sophisticated operations research models to determine each inventory shipment it sends from its two central warehouses to its 1,500 stores worldwide. By taking a retail size-assortment view of a store's inventory, the model incorporates the link between stock levels and demand to select store replenishment quantities. Through a rigorous, controlled field experiment, we estimate that this new process has increased sales by 3–4 percent; this corresponds to estimated profits of approximately $233 million and $353 million in additional revenues for 2007 and 2008, respectively.


Retailing; Fast fashion; Inventory management; Field experiment; Sizes distribution

Available on ECCH


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