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[Image via Scalleja/Flickr]
For months, Zara and the Gap have been neck-and-neck in the race to be the largest fashion retailer on the planet, and now, the Spanish brand has finally inched ahead, operating 3,900 stores (including five in NYC) to the Gap's meager 3,100. Call it yet another consequence of the U.S.A's current economic slump: We're buying less, the euro is booming, and Zara's sleek continental styles are outselling our boring khaki pants. We'd think this would inspire the Gap to step up, but they already did when they appointed Patrick Robinson to executive vice president of design—guess the improvement in aesthetics was no match for the recession.
Zara's parent company Inditex doesn't spend much on advertising, but it does follow the sinister-sounding "oil stain" model of growth, following the opening of one big store in each new market with a number of smaller shops that, following the metaphor, seep into the surrounding area. Given how well the brand is doing, does this mean we can expect more NYC seepage in the near future?
· Retail: Zara bridges Gap to become world's biggest fashion retailer [The Guardian]
· Falling Back Into the Gap's Clutches [Racked}