Landsec has announced that Zara yesterday opened its first new concept store in the UK at Bluewater, one of Europe’s leading retail and leisure destinations.  The 37,000 sq ft store, which is double the size of Zara’s previous store at Bluewater, shares its design with Zara’s other global flagships in Barcelona and Dubai.

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Situated on Bluewater’s upper Guildhall and the result of Landsec combining a number of units and building out over Bluewater’ central service yard, the new Zara showcases the brand’s full ranges for men, women and children over two floors.  In addition, the upper level includes a mezzanine featuring Zara Home.  Reflecting Bluewater’s ethos of providing a unique experience for guests, the store has a dedicated personal shopper area.

Described by Zara as a model for its online and instore integration concept, the store also features an Automated Collection Point (ACP), at which customers can pick-up online orders using QR codes or PINs provided at the time of ordering online.  Continuing the integration theme, the store includes self-service and dedicated refund tills to ensure the experience is as seamless as possible. 

Rob Hardie, Portfolio Director at Landsec, co-owner and asset manager of Bluewater, said: “It is a testament to the strength and appeal of Bluewater to brands and consumers alike that Zara has chosen it as the debut location in the UK for its new global flagship concept.  The store provides Bluewater’s guests with a genuine omni-channel experience that sets a precedent for the future of retail.”

Reflecting the current Covid-19 guidelines, the store has opened with a range of measures in place to ensure customers can enjoy the experience safely and with confidence.  These include one-way systems, hand sanitiser stations and safe queuing.  Additional staff will be on hand to assist customers, complemented by Bluewater’s guest services team.

The opening of Zara follows the launch of Dermalogica’s experiential store on Bluewater’s Guildhall in October.  The brand’s first standalone store outside London, and only its second in the UK, the new Dermalogica focuses on education, with expert therapists guiding customers through the full range of skin care products. 

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