We could call Zara the Shake Shack of the fast fashion world. Like the inexpensive burger that comes from a celebrity chef, clothing at Zara is affordable and stylish.
Where are we going? To what our brain says about shopping.
The fast fashion concept is all about speed. Whereas Gap takes a year to plan and produce its inventory, Zara can move a Prada knockoff to a store shelf in only two weeks. In their stores, shoppers know to buy now or miss the opportunity because inventory is limited and turnover is frequent.
Our Brain’s Response to Shopping
Using MRI-related technology, researchers confirmed that the shopping experience is a combination of pleasure, analysis and pain. The pleasure starts when a “fantastic” sweater activates our “feel good” brain region. Whether the pleasure continues depends at first on the brain’s cost-benefit response and then on how our insula–where we process pain and disgust–reacts to the price tag.
Below you can see how fast fashion style and price can masterfully elevate our pleasure while diminishing our pain:
Our Bottom Line: Consumer Spending
The pleasure and pain of the fast fashion business model reflects the requisites of monopolistic competition. Similar and yet different, the many firms and multiple consumers in this market make differentiation a necessity. It is not only about a firm’s merchandizing and prices but also its speed and turnover.
Along a market structure continuum, firms get larger and more powerful as you move to the right:
Their power could relate to our neurology.
My sources and more: For even more about fast fashion, The Atlantic had a slew of fascinating facts. Please note that this post was edited after publication.