Online is available in-store at fashion retailer Zara’s recently unveiled London flagship store, the chain’s first in the world to be decked out with a dedicated area for both the purchase and collection of online orders.
Parent company Inditex describes the Westfield Stratford store, which had been under refurbishment since January, as being “designed with pioneering technology to transform the customer shopping experience at its heart”.
In addition to women’s, men’s and kid’s sections, the store features two automated online order collection points, capable of handling 2400 orders simultaneously, with an optical barcode reader scanning QR or PIN codes received by customers who place online orders.
“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,” explained Inditex in a statement.
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Among the store’s other features, RFID-equipped interactive mirrors detect the garment a customer is holding, enabling them to see what a complete outfit will look like in the mirror.
Staff with iPads will be able to service customers and accept payments, and in addition to cashier desks, a self-checkout area automatically identifies garments being purchased, allowing customers to confirm their items on-screen before paying with card or smartphone.
Pablo Isla, Inditex chairman and chief executive, described the reopening of the London store as “an important moment for Inditex”.
“We are in a unique position as we enjoy a global sales platform that fully integrates stores and online,” Isla commented.
“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.”
Zara has also actively been exploring online strategies in other markets, having launched an Australian online store in March, complementing its physical network of stores and increasing pressure on local brands to spend more on paid search traffic drivers.