Project: Zara, Westfield Stratford

Design: Inhouse
Opening date: May 2018
Store size: 4,500 sq m

Zara has unveiled its latest store concept at Westfield Stratford, revealing pioneering features designed to transform the customer experience and integrate online and in-store shopping. The new store is almost double the size of its predecessor at 4,500 sq m, and marks a significant milestone in parent company Inditex’s strategy of integrating its store and online platforms.

This Zara store is the first in the world with a dedicated area for the purchase and collection of online orders, in addition to the usual sections for womenwear, menwear and kids lines. This fourth section of the store features two automated online order collection points, serviced by a concealed area able to handle 2,400 orders simultaneously, enabling shoppers to collect purchases made through Zara’s ecommerce platforms.

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The system’s optical barcode reader scans QR or PIN codes that customers receive when they place orders online. Behind the pick-up point, a robotic arm collects trays and organises the packages optimally according to their size, delivering orders for customers to collect in seconds.

The new store’s customer service features are oriented towards creating a seamless, convenient and enjoyable shopping experience. Interactive mirrors equipped with RFID can detect the garment a customer is holding, enabling customers to see what a complete outfit will look like in the mirror. Online orders are available in store on the same day if made before 2pm, or the next day if made in the afternoon.

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Zara staff with iPads will be able to advise customers and accept payments. Customers can pay using their mobile phones via the Zara app or the Inditex Group app, InWallet. Complementing the regular cashier desks, there is a self-checkout area with a system that automatically identifies garments being purchased. Customers can simply confirm their items on a screen at self-checkout before paying with their cards or mobile phones.

The store has been designed to stand out as a unique shopping destination for Zara customers. It has a two-storey façade without shop windows on the first floor, providing a transparent view of the store’s interior architectural features and collections. The store also boasts smart systems that reduce emissions and save energy, in keeping with Inditex’s eco-efficient store programme.

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The Stratford store has been under refurbishment since January, and was temporarily replaced with Zara’s first pop-up store for purchase and collection of online orders only – some of the features of which have been replicated in the flagship.

'The reopening of Zara’s flagship in Stratford is an important moment for Inditex. We are in a unique position as we enjoy a global sales platform that fully integrates stores and online. In recent years we have invested in both the most advanced technology and optimised our stores for this aim. Our business model combines stores and digital seamlessly, and we are ready for the opportunities that this brings with current and new customers,' says Pablo Isla, chairman and CEO of Inditex.

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