- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - Inditex is gearing up to unveil the Zara store of tomorrow, which will feature innovative technology aimed at improving the customers shopping experience. Zara is set to open its first store dedicated to online orders and click & collect in London tomorrow. The debut pop-up store is set to open at London Westfield Stratford shopping centre and will run until May while the Spanish retailer's flagship store in the centre is refurbished and expanded.
The new pop-up store is set to span close to 200 square meters and will offer an edited selection of Zara's womenswear and menswear for online purchase directly in-store, alongside of its extensive fashion collection. Customers will have the choice of receiving their orders within the same day, if placed before 2 pm, or the next day if placed after 2 pm.
Zara launches first online-focused pop-up store ahead of the refurbishment of its flagship store in Westfield Stratford
Zara's debut technology driven pop-up will also feature an easy payment system which is operated via Bluetooth and store associates will be on hand with mobile devices to help customers in any way needed. The pop-up will also handle any customer returns or exchanges. Zara's Westfield Stratford pop-up will also feature a product recommendation system, which uses RFID technology. Customers will be able to scan an item to receive more information on it, in addition to multiple choices for coordinating and combining the item with other garments and accessories.
The pop-up opening comes as Zara aims to nearly double the size of its current flagship store in Westfield Stratford to 4,500 square meters. The renovated flagship store will be the first Zara store to feature a 'radical new store concept' that places technology in the heart of its design to transform the customer shopping experience. It will feature four sections: women's, men's, kid's as well as a dedicated area for collecting online orders.
Pablo Isla, the chairman and CEO of Zara's parent company Inditex highlighted the importance and relevance of both store concepts, noting that they both mark "another milestone in our strategy of integrating our stores with the online world, which defines our identity as a business." The new store concept set to launch in Zara's refurbished flagship store also aims to further enhance shoppers in-store experience by adding new customer services.
Zara's new store concept to focus on innovative technlogy to enchance the customers journey
Featuring a new interior design, the glass facade on the second floor of the store will be equipped with a number of sensors that will project images from Zara's current collection when shoppers approach it. It will also feature an automated online order collection point serviced by two small warehouses which will let shoppers pick up purchases made online at a suitable time for them. The system is designed around an optical barcode reader which scans the QR code or accepts a PIN code received by customers before delivering their order to a mailbox for the customer to collect it. A dynamic robot will man the small warehouse behind the scenes, with the capacity to handle 2,400 packages simultaneously.
In addition, customers will be able to pay for their purchases in-store using their mobile phones, either through the Zara app or the Inditex Group app, InWallet. There will also be a self-checkout area which complements the regular cashier desk to help speed up the payment process in store. This system automatically identifies the garment being purchased, so shoppers only have to confirm their items on a screen before completing the transaction with their mobile phone or card. The new flagship store will also be equipped with smart systems to reduce emissions and save energy in line with Inditex's broader eco-efficient store programme.
The new store concept comes after Inditex rolled out in-store mobile payment through InWallet in all of its branded stores in Spain in July 2016. Inditex has also been trialing interactive changing rooms and self-service cash desks at a number of its stores in Spain, Germany and the US since July 2016, in order to see how shoppers react with the in-store tech.
Photos: Courtesy of Inditex