Zara Plans To Bring Augmented Reality To Its Stores


In an effort to attract millennials, Zara plans to integrate augmented reality into its stores this April. The retailer will bring the technology to 120 of its locations around the world, Reuters reported.

With the technology, Zara will be able to show models wearing the latest fashions to customers when they put their mobile devices near a sensor within its brick-and-mortar stores or near certain shop windows. If customers like the clothing on display, they can purchase the looks through their mobile devices.

The owner of Zara, Inditex, is famous for rushing looks from fashion shows to its stores within days. And it has handled competition from eCommerce players well, according to analysts.

Anne Critchlow of Societe Generale wrote in a note, according to Reuters, “It is now very rare in the physical stores-based part of the retail sector to find companies not disrupted by online. However, Inditex is a rare example of a company that should fare relatively well.”

The news comes as Zara is turning to a high-tech solution for its “click and collect” service. Robots will now fetch items from the back of the house and speed up the in-store pick-up process, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Customers who have placed online orders can scan or enter a code at collection points in Zara stores. Robots then search for the corresponding order and bring it to a drop box where customers can pick their items up.

One-third of Zara’s worldwide online sales are already collected from its brick-and-mortar locations — a demand which initially created long lines in some of its stores, as employees manually searched for and found customers’ orders. Shoppers can pick up items at thousands of the brand’s locations, with 85 stores in the U.S. offering the service.

In addition to Zara’s experiments with robots, the company has also decided to open a digitally enhanced pop-up store in a U.K. mall.