Madrid – The latest trends in fashion, technology and sustainability converge in the brand new Zara store which recently opened in the heart of Madrid. FashionUnited had the opportunity to tour the store, located on the ground floor of the iconic brand ahead of its official opening on April 8, Building Spain in the Spanish capital. This building in front of the renovated building Spain Square in Madrid, established itself before its launch as the largest Zara in the world and the flagship store of Inditex.
With more than 7,700 square meters of floor space, including 3,815 square meters dedicated to retail space, the brand is present in its new Zara on the Spain Square succeeded in implementing its most innovative and advanced store concept, with new services and new ways of presenting its collections. This has never been seen before in any of the nearly 2,000 stores Zara has spread across the world. This is a series of novelties that fit perfectly with the new business model pursued by the chain through larger flagship stores, located in emblematic locations, with a renewed image and the latest omnichannel technologies. The result is a store that looks much more like a department store than a typical fast-fashion chain.
With this opening on Spain Square Zara manages to move further and further away from the term ‘fast fashion’, as it has done for a long time, by launching more sustainable collections with increasingly higher added value. Zara offers a new shopping experience based on a range of new features and tools. These new services allow consumers to interact differently with the brand, a new purchase not intended to replace a previous shopping experience but rather to complement it.
Much more than a flagship store
The new flagship store – although that term barely covers it – has a total of four floors. The ground floor and the first floor are dedicated to women’s collections and the collection and return of online orders, the third floor is dedicated to men’s clothing and the basement is where the Zara children’s collections.
At the entrance to the store, as well as at several strategic points, a QR code, scannable with a mobile phone, provides access to a detailed plan of the store. The ground floor consists of a large, very bright white space, where the women’s fashion collections themselves can give the store their own character. An idea of the team of architects of Zara, responsible for the development of the entire commercial project.
Other functionalities offered by the ground floor, in addition to a large checkout area: a section dedicated to denim fashion, eye-catching screens designed to make the purchasing process more efficient, a “Click&Collect” space to collect online orders and an automated point for online returns; the first of its kind, on a global scale, that the chain inaugurated in one of its stores.
Book your own fitting room
You can access the first floor by elevators or escalators. This floor is also dedicated to women’s fashion, but also to the chain’s special launches. It is also the floor where the main technological services that Zara can provide from this new location are concentrated. Spain Square deployed. In a large fitting room, the customer can book a fitting room, both on site and through the “Click&Try” service of the Zara App shop option. In a large space with self-service checkouts, customers can pay for their items independently and take them with them. Customers can pay by card or via the Zara app with the “Pay&Go” service.
There is also a collection point for online purchases, via a robotic silo with a capacity of up to 1,500 orders. Additionally, there is a box recycling area where customers can drop off their boxes and other packaging materials from their collected orders.
“Zara Lingerie” in the store for the first time
In each of the different spaces for women, men and children, an independent space has been converted into a “showroom”. Here, the chain presents its creations in the field of shoes and accessories. The “shop” areas are transformed into a kind of corner with special categories of Zara collections, within the same Zara store. This accentuates the “shopping center” character of this Zara.
On the first floor for women, in addition to the shoes and accessories area, the customer will also find a “boutique” area for the “Zara Beauty” and “Zara Lingerie” lines. Until now, the latter was only available on the Zara site.
A space reserved for the “Zara Athleticz” sports line
On the third floor, on the men’s clothing floor, you will find an area reserved for the Zara Athleticz sports line, where there are many “Zara Athleticz” products, such as training pants and sports shirts.
To conclude this visit to the largest Zara in the world, we will go to the basement, which houses the children’s collections. A space decorated with care, in which a space is also reserved for the exhibition and sale of shoe and accessory collections in the form of a “showroom”, with the associated “shop” space.
A sustainable space
In the development of this new “megastore” on Spain Square Great care has been taken in the correct use and optimization of natural resources. The store is connected to the internal “Inergy” platform from which Inditex centrally controls the efficient consumption of air conditioning and energy installations in its stores.
The store also contains increasingly sustainable collections. The goal is that by 2022, at least 50% of clothing sold will come from Inditex’s “Join Life” label. Additionally, more environmentally friendly materials have been used in the construction of the space. Consider using cellulose sealer on ceilings and interior walls. Other eco-efficient measures implemented: temperature control systems, air curtains at store entrances, speed-controlled escalators, LED lighting, motion sensors and automated programs that control lighting, giving the store the “Breeam” label, the European certificate for a sustainable built environment.
This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.ES. Translation and adaptation from Spanish into Dutch: Eugenia Melissen Ferrer.
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