Zara - Unit 256, Churchill Square Shopping Centre
Zara serves up the widest selection of trends, ticking off all those seen elsewhere but also taking inspiration from the catwalks and pushing some of its own. For example, the monochrome sports trend is abundant, with mesh, faux leather and sports team logos. Bomber jackets come in several styles. Directional tailoring, as well as a folksy global traveller trend, are unique to this store.
Product allocation is done well, with a mix of smart, casual and basics, and categories are comprehensively covered. Rails and table-top displays have just the right amount of product and never feel cluttered. However, while sizes generally range from small to extra large, many styles don’t have enough medium options.
Some pieces offer good value for money, such as well-made chinos for £29.99, quality swimming shorts for £25.99 and a basic bomber for £29.99. Standout pieces, such as a unique embroidered bomber at £79.99, are acceptable value. However, a faux-leather jacket at £79.99 loses out to H&M’s real leather option at £99.99.
Staff are busy tidying and organising product, but do not engage with customers. The changing rooms are manned by a member of staff who proves very helpful in finding extra sizes and even offers a similar alternative. The changing rooms are large, spacious and well appointed, but could do with a clean.
Visual Merchandising 3/10
The windows feature two mannequins wearing the same metallic bomber jacket, which looks smart but doesn’t show off the store’s product. In fact, I fail to find the jacket in store. To show off full outfit ideas, several hangers hang off one hanger, which looks messy and accidental rather than deliberate.