The Zara clothing brand provides 70% of the Inditex group’s revenue. Due to its success, the Galician multinational continues to go from strength to strength with its strategy of opening ‘flagship’ stores.

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That is, flagship organizations. They all serve one purpose: They have more warehouse space to accommodate the high demand for online shopping. That’s why there are fewer clothes on display.

Additionally, Zara now wants its customers to play an active role in the purchasing process: They must return the clothes they try on on the hanger, exactly as they were received. Gone is sending them back tangled up and upside down, as well as leaving the locker room full of hangers.

In 2018, Inditex launched a “global plan to improve the commercial space”, which included the opening of emblematic stores in Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Bilbao and Valencia. Additionally, openings are planned to be held in other major cities of Spain. They all combine tradition with technology to give customers a better shopping experience.

Shoppers going ‘flagship’ find more open and organized spaces, with no overflowing coat hangers or clothes piled up on counters. This chaos was relegated to sales. Clerks rush to rearrange items that consumers look at, touch and pick up. But now they have a little more help.

In Barcelona’s ‘flagships’, particularly those on Paseo de Gracia where Gran Via and Plaza Catalunya are located, workers are trying to change customers’ behaviour. “When you leave, please return the clothes you hung on the hangers,” a clerk repeated to everyone she served this Thursday afternoon as they got in line. Since there are more tourists than locals in these two establishments, I did this in the required language.

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Most customers complied. Otherwise, the employees insisted. They remembered this new ‘habit’ in two ways: On the one hand, if consumers left the hangers in the dressing room when leaving, they were responsible for reminding them to pick them up. On the other hand, if they arrived at the return area without changing clothes, they were helped to avoid making the area congested.

Meanwhile, another worker behind the counter was responsible for attaching the clothes with hangers to the donkey without touching anything, and folding the clothes that came without straps. There were exceptional cases when users ignored the instructions. There was no drama in those moments, just acceptance, but there was the premise of performing an unusual behavior every day: returning ordered clothes.