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Innovation

Zara trials denim personalisation in-store and online

Zara is trialling a personalised denim service in three European stores and in selected online markets this month, embracing the customisation trend pioneered by big brands like Nike and Levi’s in recent years.

From March 27, customers who buy denim clothing at three Zara stores in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milan will be able to have them embroidered with words in 13 different designs.

The items range from shorts priced at €19.95 through to a jacket at €39.95, and the customisation will be carried out in pop-up booths.

The service will be available online to customers in Spain, Holland, Italy and Great Britain for delivery or in-store pickup. The trial aims to test customer demand before a broader launch is considered.

Zara owner Inditex last Wednesday reported a 7 per cent increase in sales at constant currency rates year on year to €26.1 billion (A$41.8 billion) for the 12 months January 31, 2019.

While both comparable store sales and online sales were up after the retailer expanded its bricks-and-mortar and digital presence around the world in FY18, the fashion giant’s growth rate was less than half what it was a few years ago, according to Morgan Stanley as reported by Reuters.

This led to a 5 per cent drop in shares on the Madrid Stock Exchange last Wednesday.

“[W]e believe it is evidence that the group’s growth profile is slowing sharply,” Morgan Stanley said.

Inditex increased gross new space in prime locations by 8 per cent and continued to roll out its omnichannel store format, which integrates bricks-and-mortar and online channels through services such as click-and-collect. The group said it sees strong opportunities for growth in this space going forward.

The company said global online sales are “on track”, with Zara now selling online in 202 markets around the world. The fashion chain launched online in Australia and New Zealand last March and entered an additional 106 markets online in November.

In its first five weeks of FY19, the group lifted store and online sales 7 per cent at constant currency rates. The company said it expects like-for-like sales to grow between 4 and 6 per cent this fiscal year and gross space in prime locations to grow between 5 and 6 per cent.

This story includes details about Zara’s denim personalisation trial as first reported by sister site, Inside Retail Asia.

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