Finally! After years, literally, of browsing Topshop’s online store, lusting after the latest in high-street goodies, the lamentable lack of Zara’s high-quality, grown-up style in cyberspace comes to an end this September. The Spanish retail giant is launching their online shopping experience in the select countries of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and of course, our own UK. Hurrah! Shopping online can be a dodgy ball-game to play, without the try-before-you-buy experience a real shop offers. We doubt given Zara’s steep (though worth it!) price-range we’ll be taking many risks, but there’s thousands of people out there bored at work with a few hundred a month to spend in a couple of clicks. Plus, online shopping means you can browse whenever wherever – Zara will be launching apps for iPads and smartphones, which mean if only as an elaborate advertising venture, it’ll give people instant access to what they’re offering at any one time and mean you’re a lot more likely to go shop there in person. Window shopping in your pocket.
Zara are undoubtedly queens of the affordable, professional style; quality tailoring mixed with fun pieces wearable at any age, though the hip sizes tend to be Mediteranean-slim. Only H&M needs to join the e-party now, but seems to be making no clear moves to do so. Brian Sozzi, retail analyst, explains why; “I think the core thing with the fast fashion guys has been their inability to localize product by specific region. The way I think about H&M and Zara is that they make a broad bet on fashion, allowing them to receive good costs. What’s more, these companies have been very focused on growing square footage, devoting capital to selling the store experience instead of the Web.” However, competition is competition, and with Topshop, River Island, Asos and now New Look making a killing from internet impulse buys, the reality check of the changes technology are bringing to our lifestyles are fast closing in.
Zara launches online on 2nd September, 2010.