Why Zara is the most popular store on Main Street

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The past 18 months have been, in many ways, abysmal for retailers. More than 8,700 chain stores have closed in the first six months of this year, with the permanent closure of stores like Debenhams and Topshop leaving gaping holes in Main Street.

There has been some recovery since the lockdown restrictions were lifted. In its second quarter results, H&M sales increased 9% compared to the same period last year, an improvement but not as strong as expected.

John Lewis recorded only a 6% increase in sales, reporting a pre-tax loss of £ 29million for the first half of the year, despite eight store closures and more than 1,000 layoffs. Next reported an 18.6% increase in full-price sales in the 11 weeks leading up to July 17 compared to the same period before the pandemic.

Zara, however, topped them all by reporting a 49% increase in yesterday’s sales and € 1.3 billion in profits. So what’s his secret? Well, there are a few, and other big brands would do well to take note.

Cash price

The main street customer wants to feel like they’re getting good value for money, and convincing them of this is a bit more nuanced than just cheap and cheap prices. Zara’s products are all well under £ 100, which is affordable for many of its buyers, but not so cheap that they’re starting to wonder if quality, ethics and sustainability have been compromised.

The chain caters to a wide range of customers as well: there are dresses, blazers and pants around £ 70, but there are also pieces around £ 20, so regardless of the customer’s budget, it is easy for them to find something that they can afford.


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