Zara Stratford flagship store pioneers new approach to integrating stores and online

  • New store is Zara’s first designed with pioneering technology to transform the customer shopping experience at its heart.
  • First Zara globally to feature four distinct sections, with dedicated online area joining women’s, men’s and kid’s sections.
  • Enhances the in-store shopping experience by integrating stores and online, including automated order collection points, self-checkout and mobile payment systems. 
  • Chairman & CEO Pablo Isla about the store: “The reopening of Zara’s flagship in Stratford is an important moment for Inditex”

Zara today unveils its latest store concept at Westfield Stratford, revealing pioneering features designed to transform the customer experience and integrate online and in-store shopping. The store, which totals 4,500 square metres, marks a significant milestone in parent company Inditex’s strategy of integrating its store and online platforms. 

This Zara store is the first in the world with a dedicated area for the purchase and collection of online orders, in addition to the usual sections for women’s, men’s and kids’ lines. This fourth section of the store features two automated online order collection points, serviced by a concealed area able to handle 2,400 orders simultaneously, enabling shoppers to collect purchases made through Zara’s ecommerce platforms. 

The system’s optical barcode reader scans QR or PIN codes that customers receive when they place orders online. Behind the pick-up point, a robotic arm collects trays and organises the packages optimally according to their size, delivering orders for customers to collect in seconds.

The new store’s customer service features are oriented towards creating a seamless, convenient and enjoyable shopping experience. Interactive mirrors equipped with RFID will be able to detect the garment a customer is holding, enabling customers to see what a complete outfit will look like in the mirror. Online orders are available in store on the same day if made before 2pm, or the next day if made in the afternoon. 

Zara staff with iPads will be able to advise customers and accept payments. Customers can pay using their mobile phones via the Zara app or the Inditex Group app, InWallet. Complementing the regular cashier desks, there is a self-checkout area with a system that automatically identifies garments being purchased. Customers can simply confirm their items on a screen at self-checkout before paying with their cards or mobile phones. 

The store has been designed to stand out as a unique shopping destination for Zara customers. It has a two-storey façade without shop windows on the first floor, providing a transparent view of the store’s interior architectural features and collections. The store also boasts smart systems that reduce emissions and save energy, in keeping with Inditex’s eco-efficient store programme.

The Stratford store has been under refurbishment since January, and was temporarily replaced with Zara’s first pop up store for purchase and collection of online orders only, some of the features of which are being replicated in the flagship. 

Pablo Isla, Inditex Chairman and CEO, commented: “The reopening of Zara’s flagship in Stratford is an important moment for Inditex. We are in a unique position as we enjoy a global sales platform that fully integrates stores and online. In recent years we have invested in both the most advanced technology and optimised our stores for this aim. Our business model combines stores and digital seamlessly, and we are ready for the opportunities that this brings with current and new customers.”

The refurbishment of Zara’s Stratford flagship follows the brand’s introduction of an augmented reality experience at 120 flagship stores worldwide for a fortnight earlier this year, including at London’s Oxford Street.