Zara - 6 Lower Level Mall, Union Square Shopping Centre
Zara has one of the most unique, trend-led offers on the high street. Ideas from the spring catwalks are taken with remarkable attention to detail. Paint-splattered dresses in oversized silhouettes echo Céline, while blown-up florals in dark tones evoke Marc Jacobs. These trends are also present on T-shirts and trousers. Pretty spring oriental floral prints work on dresses, and there are also pastels and neons.
Sizing is inconsistent, with some missing. However, the store is easy to navigate. Much of the product is consigned to the perimeter and, although there are tables and freestanding rails, it doesn’t feel crowded.
While prices vary, from £69.99 for a sporty pencil dress, a shirt dress at £45.99 to an elastane-enriched shift dress at £29.99, the more expensive pieces do not show a marked difference in quality. At about £100, coats cost more than most other shops surveyed, but a £109 woven cotton coat is unlined. A matching skirt and top at £39.99 each stand out as unique. Design, not quality, adds value.
Staff were friendly and helpful in finding different sizes or similar items. The changing rooms are spacious and well lit, but strictly limiting the number of items taken in is a little annoying.
Visual Merchandising 4/10
There is dust in the windows and the mannequins are in monochrome, whereas in store the clothing is more colourful. Inside, table displays are messy and some items have make-up stains on them, but mannequins show off key items well.