Creating a seamless service for a retailing giant

Spanish retail giant Inditex owns some of Europe's most popular clothing stores and is rapidly expanding around the world. With so many diverse brands, businesses and locations - in a highly competitive industry - its growth has to be managed carefully. That's why Inditex turned to Telefónica to help harmonise its operations under one overarching communications platform.

Using technology to maintain multinational growth without diluting brand identity

The Inditex Group (Zara) is one of the world's largest fashion distributors, with well-known brands like Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti and Bershka. With over 4,300 stores in 73 countries (as of April 2009), the Spanish retailing giant is expanding globally with a focus on European and Asian markets.

The company opened 95 new stores in its first fiscal quarter of 2009 with more planned. So it's critical the company maintain its high levels of quality and customer satisfaction with product time-to-market processes of 15 days.

Inditex required a cost effective communication system across its operations, which includes more than 100 companies associated with its business of textile design, manufacturing and distribution. The company also had to upgrade its shops, the main point of contact with customers. Its ICT systems had to be able to handle, and utilise, increasing data flows while enabling employees to provide a fast and effective customer service.

One integrated network that works in every locality

Telefónica provided a fully managed MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) service, which has increased bandwidth while cutting costs. DSL (digital subscriber line) connections link individual stores to the MPLS cloud. The resulting IP VPN (virtual private network) delivers voice, data, and multimedia applications while prioritising network traffic so that business critical applications always receive precedence. The single MPLS VPN is managed end-to-end for Inditex offices and shops in over 3,000 sites in 34 counties.

Telefónica is providing Inditex with:

Attention to every detail

Not only has Inditex been opening new stores around the world, the company has been bringing its stores up-to-date with cutting edge ICT and new interior design. In the newly modernised shop premises, features like ADSL for POS (point of sale) have created fast and uninterrupted transactions. Telefónica also enabled ADSL, Switch, POE and Wireless LAN all on one router as per Inditex requirements.

Inditex is well known for the fresh image of its products and brands. Therefore, the visual and aesthetic appearance of its retail stores is a critical component of its brand and the ICT had to play its part in getting the look of the stores just right. For instance, the use of wireless LANs, along with bringing technological advantages, also helped to avoid using unsightly cabling in the stores.

Payment transaction solutions were implemented in Portugal, Spain and the UK, including the co-location of servers and managed security.

Fit for the future

Inditex estimates the investment will have paid for itself in just over a year. And the company is looking into using new applications like mobile marketing and shopping over mobile devices.

From the Integrated Centre of Management of Arteixo, Telefónica carries out the centralised management of the services of voice and data for Inditex

Download the full interview with Gabriel Moneo, Inditex Systems Director