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Zara goes online

The popular high street store finally ventures into web retailing

Published on September 28th 2010.


Zara goes online

If you could see inside www.zara.com today, it would probably resemble a scene from Where’s Wally; only Wally can be spotted wearing a stylish two-piece from the Zara A/W 2010 collection of course.

With successful e-retailers such as ASOS.com hitting the 10-year mark and most high street stores having their own websites, it’s a wonder why it’s taken Zara so long.

That is, of course, if the site doesn’t crash with shopper overload. Today, the popular high street retailer has finally set up shop online - something the company’s 4.5million Facebook fans will be overjoyed to learn.

Simon Chinn, retail consultant at Verdict Research said Zara’s core customer base were ‘a tech savvy bunch’. “There is clearly demand for Zara product online,” he added.With successful e-retailers such as ASOS.com hitting the 10-year mark and most high street stores having their own websites, it’s a wonder why it’s taken Zara so long. The online launch reinforces the perceived decline in High Street spending and a resilient online shopping market.

Both ASOS and Next have reported increases in online sales over the past year. eBay also launched their own online Fashion Outlet this year, in a bid to increase its share of the retail market. Gap recently opened its European store for UK sales and H&M is set to do the same later this month. Online retail sales are also set to double in next three years, according to consultants at Forrester.

Pablo Isla, deputy chairman and chief executive of Inditex – the retail group which owns Zara - said: "The strategic significance of this new commercial initiative, which is in keeping with our ongoing effort, is to offer our customers the best service possible.

“The internet and the world of social networking are indispensable tools and extraordinary channels for communication, and fit perfectly with our group's philosophy.” That philosophy, presumably, is flogging clothes to people.

The first Zara shop opened in 1975 in A Coruña, Spain. Its stores can now be found in locations in more than 400 cities in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. The new online store opens today in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the UK.

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