Inditex opens the Zara store of tomorrow at Westfield Stratford

London - Zara has reopened its refurbished and revamped flagship store in London's Westfield Stratford, which features a new, pioneering approach to integrating its physical and online stores.

The renewed flagship store has been specially designed to transform the customer experience by offering a seamless shopping experience using innovative technology. Spanning 4,500 square meters the flagship store marks a key milestone in parent company Inditex's ongoing strategy to integrate its online platforms with its physical store. The opening of the refurbished flagship follows on from the opening of Zara's first pop-up dedicated to online orders in London.

Inditex opens the Zara store of tomorrow at Westfield Stratford

Zara opens debut store dedicated to online and offline shopping in Westfield Stratford

Zara's Westfield Stratford flagship store is the first in the world to offer a dedicated area for purchasing and collecting online orders, in addition to offering the Spanish fashion retailers divisions for women's, men's and children's lines. The new fourth section of the store offers two automated online order collection points, which are serviced by a concealed, tech-driven location that is able to handle 2,400 orders simultaneously, thereby enabling shoppers the opportunity to collect purchases made via Zara's e-commerce platform in store.

"The reopening of Zara’s flagship in Stratford is an important moment for Inditex," said Pablo Isla, Inditex Chairman and CEO in a statement. "We are in a unique position as we enjoy a global sales platform that fully integrates stores and online. In recent years we have invested in both the most advanced technology and optimized 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."

The newly refurbished flagship store uses an optical barcode reader system which scans the QR or PIN codes that customers receive when they place an order online. Behind the scenes at the automated online collection pick-up point, a robotic arm then collects trays and organises the packages optimally based on their sizes, smoothly delivering orders for customers to collect in seconds. Customers can collect online orders made in store on the same day if placed before 2 pm, or the next day if placed after 2 pm.

The flagship store's customer service points have been created to offer a seamless, convenient and pleasing shopping experience. In addition, the new store also features interactive mirrors equipped with RFID technology which is able to detect what garment a customer is holding and offer more information on the item as well as multiple choices of what a complete outfit may look like. In store employees will work with iPads and be able to advise customers on product selections or accept payments on the spot.

Customers can choose to pay using their mobile phones via the Zara app or the Inditex Group app, InWallet. Additional regular cash desks are also present in store, next to a self-checkout area which features a system that automatically identifies what garment is being purchased. Customers just have to confirm the items on the screen at the self-checkout before finalizing their payment.

The refurbishment of Zara's Stratford flagship follows on from the Spanish retailer's launch of an augmented reality experience at 120 flagship stores around the world for a fortnight earlier this year, as the company continues to incorporate innovative technology in store.

Photos: Courtesy of Inditex