In order to compete with the likes of Amazon and Asos, Zara is implementing new programs to gain better control of its inventory.
According to Business Insider, the retailer is rolling out a new shipping system for online orders. If an item is out of stock online but available in a store nearby, customers will be able to order it from there and have it shipped directly to them. Business Insider reports that the new system will be used in 2,000 stores across the world by the end of the year.
Zara is expected to see three benefits from the new system: customers will receive items more quickly if they live closer to the store, stores are able to stay relevant in the era of online shopping and the retailer can better manage its inventory levels.
Quick delivery options is becoming crucial to the retail industry as Amazon creeps into the fashion market. However, the new system is important as the company will now be able to keep a handle on its inventory levels, an occurring challenge the retailer has been suffering from. By combining the inventory for both its physical and online stores, Zara can meet supply and demand across both platforms, and not have a high amount of inventory leftover.
Business Insider reports that online retailers like Asos and Boohoo have been releasing new items every week, leaving traditional brick-and-mortar stores to either risk falling out of fashion or drown in left over inventory. H&M currently has $4 billion worth of unsold clothes, Business Insider reports. The items are hanging on clearance racks waiting to be scooped up.