To keep up with the encroachment of digital retail on the physical sector, brick-and-mortar brands have needed to shake up their business practices to stay competitive. For Inditex-owned Zara, integrating e-commerce into their flagship London location is simpler than it may seem.
“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,” the company wrote in its announcement.
Functioning as both a pick-up location and conventional retail store, the location features a host of tools to give shoppers as wide a swathe of options as possible. In this case, the tool consists of a hidden robotic arm that collects and sorts
“We are in a unique position as we enjoy a global sales platform that fully integrates stores and online,” said Inditex chairman and CEO Pablo Isla. “In recent years we have invested in both the most advanced technology and optimized our stores for this aim.”
In addition to the robots, the store includes “interactive mirrors,” which hope to transpose the quintessentially e-commerce feature of recommendation engines.
“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,” the company claims.
This is not Zara’s first foray into the world of augmented reality shopping—the company launched an AR app featuring digital models for both physical and digital orders just last month. The new store follows the trends set by the previous app, eschewing shop windows and mannequins for open spaces.
“The reopening of Zara’s flagship in Stratford is an important moment for Inditex,” Isla stated. “Our business model combines stores and digital seamlessly, and we are ready for the opportunities that this brings with current and new customers.”