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On December 14, 2015, scox commented on Inditex, king of fast fashion :

I’m fascinated by Zara’s business model and had no idea that they were part of a larger organization – thanks so much for sharing! Expanding a bit on Sinem’s question concerning their locations, is it true that the company chooses to spend money to assure prime locations instead of more traditional advertising/marketing? Personally, I cannot recall every having seen an ad for the subsidiaries mentioned based in the US, however I have definitely been to many of their locations.

I’m also curious about markets in which many of these stores exist, for instance Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius. While you mentioned there is differentiation between brands, I imagine that there is still some cannibalization, particularly with the final 3. Does Inditex encourage a healthy competition between its brands, or is part of their value creation to carefully craft unique images and brand profiles with which different sub-sets of the target population can identify?

On December 14, 2015, scox commented on Rent the Runway: A Successful Fashion Forward Business :

Awesome post and a very popular read! Similar to many, I had no idea that RTR had this in-house dry cleaning business. I’m curious about the use of these “spotters” and at what point the company decides to retire a dress. Do the 29th and 30th users pay differently than the 1st and 2nd, whether this is because the dress is out of season or, more likely, a little worse for the wear (no pun intended)? It seems that if these dresses are depreciating in value over, the later users should be entitled to a lower price point.

Building off Julie’s point on culture and Rachel’s on its brick-and-mortar store, I think one of the most interesting facets of RTR is their inclusion of user reviews and pictures on the rental page. In my experience, these reviews and images are hugely important in picking out a dress. When I’m in a crunch to get a gown, I trust an average user with my body type infinitely more than a picture of a model a typical department store or designer posts online. To me, this culture of honesty and openness creates value to the customer buying, to the customer reviewing (you receive credit as a poster), and to the company by capturing the loyalty of these two ends.

On December 14, 2015, scox commented on Walmex: Adaptability of the Walmart business model :

This is incredibly interesting, Gaby – awesome job! I’m very intrigued by the way that Walmart adapted to the Mexican market. It seems that Cifra was a key part of their successful implementation and I’m curious to know if Cifra was similarly branded and had an extensive network like Walmart does in the US. This reminds me a little of Walgreen’s acquisition of Duane Reade in New York and the successful merging and upgrading of that network. While that acquisition 5 years ago has now been dubbed a success story, there was some backlash at the time with customers being nervous about a large company coming in and changing things. Were there any similar responses in areas of Mexico?

Another point that I find fascinating is that Walmex can manage both Superama and Sam’s Club. Looking at a sales percentage, it appears that Sam’s Club has gained a more substantial footprint. Is it possible that while the tiered supermarkets themselves do not cannibalize each other, the higher-end offerings do? While it seems the size and product offerings differ considerably between the two, they are still marketed towards the top-tier of consumers. I’d be curious to see how Walmex differentiates that sub-sect and captures value on that more detailed level.