Zara, the extremely popular Spanish high street store, opens its first EVER Australia store tomorrow (April 20, 2011) in Sydney and if their launch party tonight is anything to go by… it is one of the biggest fashion events to happen in Sydney CBD in years. Tonight barricades were present as a crowd gathered to watch the fashion pack and Sydney socialites show up for the much anticipated event at the shiny new 1400 square meter store in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall. As the queue to get in stretched down to Kings st, there was the ever present of security and police at almost every entrance of Zara’s three storey flagship store.
Layed out almost identical to their international stores, the Zara Sydney was filled with a mixture of Northern Hemisphere Spring/Summer 2011 pieces and ‘specially designed’ pieces. At first sight we had grabbed up to five pieces before we spotted the queue for the change rooms and opted to come back another time and try out luck. Though we did walk out with a new top and a the hot pink blazer for a friend.
Facts you need to know:
- Zara Sydney opens its doors on Wednesday April 20th at 9am. The store will not be open on Easter Friday or Easter Sunday.
- Expect a queue! There was one at the launch, and there will be one all day we expect.
- Prices range from $69 slim fit trousers to gorgeous classic coats for $240.
- There are two limited edition items for the Sydney launch – black ballet flats (with their own pouch) and black pumps with snake skin detail.
- The must-have items at the party were the bright pink blazer (both single and double breasted – the single breasted blazer was $89), pink and red slim trousers and the faux fur.
- New pieces will drop twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday.
- Zara will open a flagship store in Melbourne CBD (on Bourke St Mall) in June. Exact date TBA.
PHOTOS: Inside ZARA Sydney – womenswear, menswear and childrens/tweens wear
Our fabulous contributing writer Katie Hill managed to snag and interview with Jesus Echevarria, Zara Chief Communications Officer. Read what he had to say about Zara and the availability of collections in Australia.
Who is the Zara customer?
There is no specific age or type of Zara customer. There are ranges to suit all women – from the Zara Basic collection to Zara Women and TRF. Designers adapt trends and styles differently for each range, and also each country, to give as much choice and variety as possible, around 17,000 models. With fresh stock arriving twice a week, there is always something new and different.
Zara’s turnaround is 3 weeks from new trend to store. Will this still be possible to achieve in Australia? If so will this affect the price of the clothes?
Items will be specifically designed for the Southern Hemisphere to suit the climate difference. Zara is able to achieve the rapid turnaround due to its proximity business model. This translates to a close relationship between the customer and the store managers. There are daily product analyses and feedback is gathered which is then transferred directly to designers and logistics managers. Stock orders are processed at lightning speed. Once and order is placed it is consolidated and has left the head quarters in Spain within 8 hours. Within 48 hours the shipment has arrived in the store. The price point will be comparable with all other Zara stores and will not be affected by Australia’s distance. For example Zara Women black pants $69.95, Zara Women jacket $139, Zara Women white shirt $69.95, Zara Women red tailored dress $219.
Due to the high turnaround, how many units of items will be available?
Worldwide, and depending on popularity, around 35,000 units are made of each item. In Australia this will mean around 10,000 units. Zara doesn’t want to flood the market with the same items. It wants women to still be able to have individualistic pieces.
Will the other Inditex brands like Pull and Bear and Bershka be coming to Australia soon? And what about an online store?
We want to see how Zara will perform first and how Australia will respond to Zara. We have only just launched our online store last September, so we are still in the developmental stage. However, the Melbourne Zara store will most likely open at the end of June.
Finally, why did it take so long for Zara to open in Australia?
Location. It is central to the Zara business model. As we don’t advertise, we use our window displays to showcase our collections. This is why the new Westfield Sydney is the perfect spot to open in Australia.
Interview by Katie Hill. Photos and teaser by Helen Lee.
Katie Hill loves writing about fashion from all over the world. A self-confessed shopaholic, she is always seeking out the lastest news and newest trends.