Zara opens new flagship store with holograms and robots

Zara opens new flagship store with holograms and robots
Foto: Inditex

Zara’s remodeled flagship store in Stratford (London) welcomes customers with holograms, robot arms and iPad-powered employees. The store wants to unite the best of both the online and offline shopping world.


“Customers do not distinguish between online and a store”

The company’s new flagship store in Stratford’s Westfield shopping center will have the eCommerce’s convenience and technology to the physical store. That is Inditex’ goal with its subsidiary’s new store. It brought together every technology it could possibly use in other stores across the globe.

“Customers don’t differentiate between ordering online or in a store,” spokesman Jesus Echevarria Hernandez told Bloomberg. “You need to facilitate that as best as you can. […] We still want customers to interact with our physical stores.”

Online shoppers should feel comfortable with the smart mirrors, robot-powered pick-up locations and self-scan cash registers. The new 4,500 sqm, two-floor location allows people to shop without actually having to talk to anyone.


eCommerce promoted in the store

The store’s technology promotes its online product range and online shopping options: smart mirrors help you browse through the product range with swipes and RFID technology can even recognize the items you are holding. Subsequently, hologram images can display a completely new outfit. Every item has a RFID tag, which reduces an inventory check from three days to 2 hours.

Obviously, customers can order something in Stratford, in a dedicated pick-up area: everything ordered before 14h is ready that same day, otherwise it will be ready the very next day. Two fully automated pick-up booths, armed with QR code scanners, will present the order, which is stored in a minor warehouse that can stock up to 2,400 packages.

There are traditional cash registers, but also two check-out stations, where shoppers can pay with a mobile app or with their credit card. If you crave human interaction, you can talk to employees in the store. They carry around iPads and can order clothing for shoppers or handle payments right on the spot.


Unique position with integrated online and store platform

It is no coincidence that the remodeled Zara in Stratford is where Inditex is trialing this digitized store formula: it has ample space to house the innovations and already had a strong click&collect foundation. While the store waited for the renovation to finish, it opened a pop-up shop between January and May where people could only order online and pick up packages.

“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”, Inditex CEO, Pablo Isla, said.

“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.”