Wednesday, 15 June 2011

What shop sold 80% of its stock in 3 minutes when it opened its first store in Australia this year?

Zara's Sydney store
It should come as no surprise to keen fashion followers that when Zara opened its first store in Australia in Sydney earlier this year, the fashion public could not wait to snap up its on-trend pieces. With the hype surrounding Zara Sydney showing no signs of showing down, you can bet that the Zara store at 284-292 Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne which opens today will be just as busy, with keen shoppers eager to check out what the Spanish giant will bring to the Melbourne fashion scene.

Launched in 1975, Zara has almost 2,000 stores in 75 different countries. Zara's designers produce 30,000 designs a year, inspired by the world's top designers. Garments hit shop floors in 3 weeks of design, significantly quicker than the industry average of 6 weeks. Zara's global distribution center in Spain moves 2.5 million items per week and nothing stays warehoused for longer than 72 hours.

Clothes are ironed in advance, with prices and security tags afixed before they are sent out to stores. This means garments can go straight out on to the shop floor as soon as they arrive in store, maxmising selling time.

With four stores joined together and reconstructed to created a multi-level fast-fashion paradise, Zara's Melbourne store is one of the few "eco stores" the company is creating around the world. In a time where climate change is becoming more important Zara is focusing on creating a range of stores which will aim to lower emissions by using renewable energy sources, enforcing recycling processes and sustainable instore practices. Despite having new stock dropping in their store twice a week, Zara claims that the majority of emissions come from their bricks and mortar store, so that is where they are chanelling their energy into changing.

Surprisingly, the Sydney and Melbourne stores are Zara's first expedition into the Australian market. One of the reasons Zara is so successful at what they do is that they carefully research each market before they decide to release stores. This enables them to customise their stock to suit different markets.  They also produce small batches of each item. If an item is very successful, the Zara design team will alter the product slightly before it is re-released.

While consumers might love Zara's for allowing them to gain access to high fashion through affordable "knock-offs", not everyone is happier. Designers have complained that they have spent time and money researching trends and creating pieces that Zara have then taken for nothing.

With Zara moving into some of Australia's prime fashion real estate, it will be interesting to see the impact Zara will have on the Australian fashion industry. 

Zara's smart business operations has seen it become one of the most formidable fashion forces in the world today, and it shows no sign of slowing down. 

To learn more about Zara read my past posts Zara's Here - Almost and Game Changer? - Zara's Coming.

What are your thoughts on Zara? Love it or hate it?

Check out some of Zara's Autumn Winter collection which will be available from the Melbourne store today:

Information sourced from
Images courtesy of,


  1. I think the Australian fashion chain store industry had better watch out! With their smart business model, Zara has a significant advantage over other players in the market. If anyone is to benefit from Zara's presence, it will probably be independent boutiques who will be more appealing to those who don't want to be wearing what other consumers are wearing.

  2. I checked out the store today and it's massive! It's great how they are dropping stock twice a week:) Hopefully it means people won't all be walking around in the same outfits!

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