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Zara launches tech-enabled pop-up ahead of new London flagship

Zara is launching a tech-enabled pop-up store in London designed for click and collect purchases ahead of a new permanent flagship space.

Zara's new tech-enabled pop-up store
Zara’s new tech-enabled pop-up store

Zara is launching a tech-enabled pop-up store in London designed for click and collect purchases ahead of a new permanent flagship space.

The Westfield Stratford City pop-up, opening today, offers a small edit of men’s and women’s clothing that shoppers can purchase online while there in person. Doing so enables delivery same day if placed before 2pm, or the next day if placed in the afternoon. They can also access the full catalogue of the collections to choose from online.

Staff are on hand to assist with mobile devices, while an easy payment system operated by Bluetooth is also aiming to facilitate a frictionless experience. Meanwhile, a product recommendation system based on RFID technology means customers are able to use mirrors to scan items to get more information about them, as well as see other suggested coordinating pieces.

The pop-up will be open until May while the retailer’s flagship is refurbished and seriously upgraded. The new space to follow will then be 48,000 sq ft and similarly focus on placing technology at its heart.

Zara's new flagship due to open in May
Zara’s new flagship due to open in May

It will feature four sections: women’s, men’s, kid’s and click and collect. The latter will see automated collection points where an optical barcode reader can scan QR codes or PINs received by customers. Orders are then delivered to a mailbox manned by a robot behind-the-scenes for customers to then collect items at their convenience. The robot has the capacity to handle 2,400 packages simultaneously.

Further tech features include mobile payments either through the Zara app or the Inditex group app, InWallet, and a self-checkout area that sits alongside the regular associate-serviced desks.

Meanwhile, the two-storey store will feature sensors on the top floor that project images on the windows when shoppers approach them.

Pablo Isla, the chairman and CEO of parent company Inditex, said: “[Both stores] mark another milestone in our strategy of integrating our stores with the online world, which defines our identity as a business.”

The move comes after Inditex rolled out in-store mobile payments through all its stores in Spain, and the trial of interactive fitting rooms and self-service checkouts in Spain, Germany and the US in 2016.

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.