Zara, the main brand of the Inditex group, plans to open its largest store this Friday, a 7,700-square-meter store distributed over four floors and a gigantic warehouse in the emblematic Spain Building on Madrid’s Gran Vía. The establishment has been designed to become the company’s flagship in the world, with the launch of new services linked to technology, such as being able to reserve a shift for changing rooms through the apps or from the physical store, and scan and pay directly with the mobile phone without having to go to the checkout (neither be attended by an employee nor even the self-checkout) to avoid queues.
These are two of the main novelties that are introduced in the store, and that the group wants to generalize little by little in its establishments, as part of its strategy of integrating physical sales models and on-line. Find premises in locations premium it continues to be one of the company’s main criteria for locating its stores. The Gran Vía area has traditionally been one of the main commercial arteries of the capital, and the recent urban renovation of Plaza de España has revalued the area’s potential. Proof of this is that the Japanese fashion chain Uniqlo announced this Thursday, just the eve of the opening of its rival Zara’s store, the next opening of its largest establishment in Spain, with 2,000 square meters, in this same area.
Another novelty of the new Zara store is that a part of the space is reserved for lingerie (until now it was sold on the web), with its own warehouse and cashier, and a section for shoes and another for makeup products is created differentiated from the rest, as explained on Thursday by the group, which organized a guided tour for the press.
The store has a section reserved for the self-management of purchase returns on-line with QR code and a mailbox to leave the package. At the entrance, as is already the case in other Zara stores, you can consult a detailed map on your mobile of where the products are, including a specific garment, which perhaps you have seen on the web and you prefer to buy in person. The store staff amounts to 200 people.
In another corner of the building, the group opens a Stradivarius store this Friday, the brand aimed at younger customers, and which has a work by the artist Rachel Valdés for its training.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
The opening of these two stores comes a few days after the change in leadership of Inditex materialized on April 1, with Marta Ortega as non-executive president and Óscar García Maceiras as CEO. The group’s strategy to cut fixed costs in recent years, and which has accelerated during the pandemic, has been to reduce its number of stores. In two years, Inditex has closed almost 1,000 points of sale, especially in markets with a greater presence, such as Spain, China, Mexico, Italy, Portugal and Russia. In parallel, it has increased the percentage of internet sales to 25% of billing, with a system that combines the face-to-face model and the on-line.
This integration of sales channels is intensified in the store that opens this Friday: of the 7,700 square meters, only 3,800 meters are actually for commercial space. A good part of the rest is occupied by the warehouse, where both the products that are bought on-line such as in person with the aim of creating synergies between the businesses and that you can buy online but pick up in the store, or see in the store and order on-lineand return in the physical store.
Four Uniqlo plants
Not many meters from the new Zara store in the Plaza de España, Uniqlo will open another, with four floors, located in a historic building whose last tenant was H&M, as reported in a statement on Thursday. It will be the second store in Madrid for the Japanese brand, after its first opening in 2019, also in Madrid.
“Madrid is a city full of modernity and traditions; a melting pot of cultures and the Gran Vía, an unbeatable location to continue presenting our philosophy to consumers”, highlighted Kohsuke Kobayashi, director of operations in Spain. The store offers around 200 new jobs for which the hiring process is already open through the company’s website.
Uniqlo has a total of 67 stores in Europe distributed in nine different countries, of which five are in Spain.