will zara be sydney’s catalyst for uniqlo, h&m and a&f?

Sydney, the wait is finally over.

Today, Spanish fashion retailer ZARA opened in Westfield Sydney to much anticipation and fanfare. People were so excited that they queued at 3am for its opening.

ZARA is the second major international fashion retailer to enter into the Australian market in recent years. The other is GAP. There is great expectation that if successful, ZARA and GAP’s entry into Australia will act as the catalyst for other international retailers like H&M, Uniqlo, Topman and Abercrombie & Fitch to enter our shores.

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For the guys
The guys must head upstairs to the top level for their ZARA fix. The top level is relatively small by ZARA standards, however, I was surprised with the range and variety in the menswear collection on offer in this limited space.

The guys can choose between ZARA Man and ZARA Youth, both with a reasonable amount of clothes in many colours, styles and designs. I was pleased that ZARA offered more than just neutral tones.

Prices are very reasonable, and comparable to what you may get at Myer or David Jones. T-shirts start from around $30. Business shirts start from $60. Suit jackets from $150. Leather jackets from $150. Normal jackets from $70. Jeans from $60.

For the girls
The girls section occupies the first floor and half of the bottom floor. The first floor sells the more mature or styled ZARA clothes, whilst the bottom floor offers the casual ZARA collections.

I remember seeing wild colours of yellow, pink and orange, which in my opinion is sharp and trendy. I was impressed. Then I was struck, and very quickly turned off, by the amount of leopard print and spotted clothes on offer on level one. I stayed long enough to determine that the prices for the girls are also very reasonable, with dressy tops starting from $40, and cardigans from $60 and dresses from $100.

The casual section downstairs also offers very competitive prices for tops from $20 and trousers from $40. I saw t-shirts in many different colours, and the size and range of the clothes here was quite extensive.

ZARA’s strategy
ZARA’s venture into Australia is a challenge for the northern hemisphere based retailer. The inversed seasons make it impossible for Sydney to follow the north’s trends. Rather than being left behind, ZARA chose to specially design collections just for Sydney, that incorporates its climate and style.

It is a known fact that ZARA bring new styles to its shops globally every 2 weeks, and withdraws unsold clothes nearly as regularly. It has been reported that Sydney will be no exception. In other words, Sydney will be getting a fortnightly turnover of new stock, which is definitely enough excuse to bring people back regularly.

This strategy will surely pressure Sydney’s current clothing retailers to rethink their own strategies when it comes to style and speed of distribution. Good luck!

My verdict: ZARA will be a winner because the price is reasonable and the stock is fresh from overseas.

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6 responses to “will zara be sydney’s catalyst for uniqlo, h&m and a&f?

  1. Haha… my favourite moment was spotting the Zara outfits for babies!! A bit of a “omg, that’s too cute!” moment.

    From a service perspective, I was surprised that it only took me 5 minutes to get into the store this evening through the main door. That said, it was trying to squeeze through all the shoppers to actually look at things properly that was painful. Paying didn’t take too long either 10-15 minutes, tops. I was pretty impressed by their efficiency (in comparison to some Myer queues where I’ve waited for half a friggin’ hour..)

  2. FINALLY, someone with pics and experiences in the men’s department! I want that tan leather jacket, looks amazing!

  3. I agree that the tan leather jacket looks pretty cool, and I also agree with that the staff there are very professional.

    I suggest checking out the store once the hype dies down a little. At least you’ll be able to get into the change rooms with minimal wait!

  4. Hi, great to see a post from a guy’s perspective!
    I only visited the store once (for literally 30 seconds because I was almost trampled to death), but from my quick experience, I saw that all the good designs on the ground floor were ones I saw in Hong Kong and Japan early this year and even last year! Saw some jackets and dresses that I picked up overseas and they were about $30 more expensive. So unfortunately, while the prices haven’t skyrocketed as speculated, I’d still rather put that $30 towards a plane ticket and shop off-shore each year.
    Hah that’s just my two cents, but great blog!

  5. Thanks for your comment and for reading, Anon.
    You’re right! If you add up all those cost savings, then a plane ticket isn’t too far away. Plus you get to go away.

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