Inditex has opened the largest, and most modern, Zara in the world on a prime location in Madrid. Together with its ‘sister chain’ Stradivarius, Zara will trial new features there.
Phones instead of tills
The most important shop opening of the year for Inditex took place in the historic Edificio España skyscraper in Madrid. Together, the two shops cover an area of 9,000 sqm, of which 5,000 sqm is sales floor space. Parent company Inditex is making a special effort for this new Zara store concept: the new four-storey shop has a number of new features, the main aim of which is to close the gap between online and offline as much as possible. Cashless shopping, for example, is becoming the norm thanks to the spacious self-checkout area. With the Pay&Go service, shoppers can pay by mobile phone from anywhere in the shop, by scanning the QR codes on garments.
The new app also allows shoppers to reserve a fitting room or a product in advance, while returning packages is now possible without having to wait for a member of staff. When entering the shop, visitors can also view a detailed map of the shop on their smartphone. Looking for a particular item of clothing or a favourite item? The map shows where it is located in the shop.
Physical lingerie for the first time
The Zara shop also features new departments: a beauty corner, an athletics department and – for the first time – a lingerie section: until now, the lingerie line was only available online. This strong digital connectedness can already be seen in the floor plan: almost half of all surface area is not commercial space, but is occupied by a large warehouse that is used for both the two physical shops and e-commerce.
It is striking that Inditex is again investing so heavily in physical shops: in the past two years, the corona pandemic caused the group to tighten its belt and close nearly one thousand points of sale. At the same time, the company has invested heavily in online sales, which already account for a quarter of all sales. Gradually, however, the fashion giant wants to roll out the Madrid novelties to other locations, precisely to strengthen its omnichannel proposition. In Madrid, they will face competition from Japanese Uniqlo, which has just opened a 2,000 sqm shop nearby.