Advanced SearchSearch Tips
Global Pricing Strategy of the SPA Brand: Comparison with GDP and Big Mac Index
facebook(new window)  Pirnt(new window) E-mail(new window) Excel Download
  • Journal title : Fashion & Textile Research Journal
  • Volume 18, Issue 3,  2016, pp.301-316
  • Publisher : The Society of Fashion and Textile Industry
  • DOI : 10.5805/SFTI.2016.18.3.301
 Title & Authors
Global Pricing Strategy of the SPA Brand: Comparison with GDP and Big Mac Index
Kim, Seo Jeong; Lee, Ji Yeon; Lee, Kyu-Hye;
  PDF(new window)
Due to the dramatic increase in consumers` price sensitivity and growing importance for global retailers to create relevant price strategies, this study investigates the global pricing strategy of the main SPA brands such as ZARA, H&M and UNIQLO. Based on price information shown on official website, the study developed SPA brand index by using exchange rates in terms of US dollars and ratio of differences between the local price and the US price. These figures were compared with GDP per person data in order to analyze each brand`s price level against the income level. The study also compared SPA brand index with Big Mac index to identify the difference in price levels between the fast fashion market and the fast food market. ZARA and H&M were mostly targeting Middle East and Asia as a high-price market when considering index only. After taking the income level into account, however, Asia came out be the highest price market and Middle East was similar to the US market. On the other hand, UNIQLO targeted Asia as the lowest price market and the US and EU as the highest in terms of index only. But, Asia came out to be the highest price zone after considering the income level while the price of the US and EU was reasonable. Comparison with Big Mac Index indicated that most of Asia had a higher price level of the fashion market than the food market, whereas most European countries had a similar or high-price level of food market.
pricing strategy;global SPA brand;fashion index;Big Mac Index;fast fashion;
 Cited by
Byun, H. J. (2009). [Imaginary marketing] Big Mac index and Shin Ramyun index. Marketing, 43(3), 92-93.

Byun, J. W. (2013). A study of SPA Brand Zara's successful international marketing strategy. Business Economics, 46(1), 229-248.

Ceballos, F. R. (2015, June 26). Zara: worldwide pricing strategy revealed by study. Fashionmag, Retrieved November 29, 2015, from,544318.html#.VmRvfmaheM9

Choo, H. J., Lee, H. K., Baek, E. S., & Kwon, H. J. (2013). Research on price comparison of fashion brands in global market. Fashion Information and Technology, 10, 66-78.

Chun, J. S., & Noh, Y. J. (2007). A study on a product supply of casual apparel brands - Focused on SPA characteristics -. The Research Journal of the Costume Culture, 15(1), 1-12. crossref(new window)

Clements, K. W., & Lan, Y. (2010). A new approach to forecasting exchange rates. Journal of International Money and Finance, 29(7), 1424-1437. doi:10.1016/j.jimonfin.2010.03.009 crossref(new window)

Fast Retailing. (2014). Fast retailing annual report 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from

'Forecasts and strategies by apparel type on 2015'. (2015, February 9). Samsung Design Net. Retrieved from March 14, 2016, from

H&M. (2014). H&M annual report 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from

Han, S. L., & An, M. A. (2013). Analysis of effects of quality factors of SPA brand strategy. Journal of Distribution Research, 18(1), 1-23.

Hines, T., & Bruce, M. (2007). Fashion Marketing: Contemporary Issues (2nd ed.). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

IMF (International Monetary Fund). (2015, October 6). World Economic Outlook Database, October 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015, from

Inditex. (2014). Inditex annual report 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from

Jang, A. R. (2007). Development of Korean style SPA of fast fashion for consumer needs. Korean Journal of Human Ecology, 16(5), 997-1006. crossref(new window)

Jang, E. Y. (2008). Fashion retail marketing. Seoul: Gyohakyeongoosa.

Jang, S. Y., & Park, J. K. (2015). The influence of global SPA brand value proposition on customer-brand relationship, brand attitude and brand loyalty. International Business Review, 19(1), 119-142. crossref(new window)

Jeong, G. Y., & Yu, H. J. (2014). A study of the effect of fast fashion brand experience on brand identification. The Korean Journal of Advertising, 25(3), 147-173. doi:10.14377.4.15.147 crossref(new window)

KCA (Korea Consumer Agency) (2014, June). Overseas direct purchase usage status and improvement plan. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from

KCCI (The Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry). (2010, November). Retail CEO report. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from호_RetailCEOReport_웹게시용.pdf

KCCI (The Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry). (2012, October). Consumer preference research on SPA brand. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from월15일자조간)%20SPA선호도-보도.hwp

Kim, E. J. (2013, September 23). International brand is getting bigger…Zara 'Number one'. Korea Economic Magazine. Retrieved November 29, 2015, from

Kim, H. J., & Lee, S. H. (2007). An analysis of consumer's buying behaviors and the importance of store attributes in SPA brand - Focused on female col1ege student in Seoul metropolitan area and Gyeongi-do area -. The Research Journal of the Costume Culture, 15(3), 369-382. crossref(new window)

Kim, J. H., & Lee, S. Y. (2009). Global SPA brands in the Korean market: The case of Uniqlo and Zara. International Business Review, 13(4), 271-297. crossref(new window)

Kim, M. J. (2014, March 7). Fast-growing international SPA "Live by eating up a recession". Korea Economic Magazine. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from

Kim, S. H. (2007). Study on the fast fashìon(part 1)-Focusìng on marketing strategy. The Research Journal of the Costume Culture, 15(5), 875-887. crossref(new window)

Ko, S. H., & Kim, E. Y. (2014). Effects of marketing strategy on brand attitude, store affect, and store loyalty: A comparison between global and Korean SPA brands. Fashion and Textile Research Journal, 16(3), 386-395. doi:10.5805.16.3.386 crossref(new window)

KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency). (2015, April). Domestic SPA brand market size and forecasts. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from

Lee, J. M. (2014). The study on effect of price sensitivity for consumer’s purchasing behavior of SPA brand. Journal of the Korean Society of Design Culture, 20(3), 532-540.

Min, S. S., & Kim, H. I. (2015, November 17). "We are the best partner" Super-riches' collaboration is general trend. Herald Economics. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from

MOTIE (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy). (2013, December). 2013 Fashion market size research business. Retrieved November 10, 2015, from

Oh, K. C. (2015, October 27). Breaking the stereotypes of fashion through the system management-the global SPA entering a decade-Part 2. Apparelnews. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from

Park, S. M. (2015, January 19). The growth of SPA brands and competitiveness of the marketing strategy. Fashionnetkorea. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from

Park, S. W. (2010). Finance focus: Exchange rate level evaluation through the relationship between Big Mac Index and income. Weekly Financial Brief, 19(49), 12-13.

Park, S. Y. (2012, February 9). "Are you a fool to pay full price of the clothes at the department store?". Asiaeconomics. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from

Rath, P. M., Petrizzi, R., & Gill, P. (2012). Marketing fashion: A global perspective. NY: Fairchild Books.

Rhee, D. K., & Choi, J. A. (2012). Uniqlo in Korea: The joint venture of Fast Retailing Co. and Lotte Shopping Co. International Business Review, 16, 295-325. crossref(new window)

Ro, J. H., & Kim, M. J. (2009). Socio-cultural interpretation of fast fashion phenomenon. Journal of the Korean Society of Costume, 59(3), 27-41.

Son, M. Y. (2007). Global fashion marketing. Seoul: Changjisa.

'The best 100 global brands 2015'. (2015). Interbrand. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from

'The Big Mac index'. (2015, July 17). The Economist. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from

'The world's most innovative companies'. (2015). Forbes. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from

'The world's most valuable brands'. (2015). Forbes. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from

Yu, H. K., & Park, N. R. (2015). Price differentiation of global cosmetic brands. Journal of the Korea Sociery Beauty and Art, 16(1), 231-251.