As Spanish fast-fashion retailer Zara renovates its flagship store in a London mall, it has come up with an innovative solution to sell to customers: opening a digitally enhanced pop-up store in the same building, industry news source Chain Store Age reported.
The 2,150-square-foot location will feature both women’s and men’s clothing, but with a unique twist: All merchandise will only be available for online purchase. In addition, the store, which will be located at London’s Westfield Stratford mall, will support pickups for online orders.
To help customers shop, store employees use mobile devices. Those who place orders before 2 P.M. can pick up their orders the same day, while those who do so after the cutoff will have to wait until the next day. Customers will use a Bluetooth credit card terminal to pay for their items.
In addition, the store features a product recommendation system that works with a mirror. After customers scan an item using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, the system will show other items that might pair well with the selected clothing, and in the correct size.
Customers can also pay with the Zara app or InWallet, the app of the brand's parent company, Inditex Group. Inditex, which includes Zara in its brand banner, said in 2016 that it would integrate mobile payments into the retail storefronts of all eight of its brands. Inditex’s mobile payments solution uses both QR code scanning and near-field communication (NFC) contactless technology to facilitate transactions. The apps also automatically store consumers’ receipts, making returns and exchanges easier than ever.
As hundreds of brick-and-mortar locations have closed — including those of well-known retailers like Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Staples, among others — Inditex has taken steps to beat the odds. All its clothing is made in Spain and nearby countries to enable quick feedback from store managers on trends around the world. Zara’s designers are constantly developing new items and shipping them out in small batches, allowing stores to always be refreshed with the latest fashion trends.