I had to go to Sydney for work this week so I took the opportunity to visit the new ZARA store. I've been a huge fan of ZARA from trips to Europe and the US over the years and was really interested to see what they'd deliver in Australia.
The store is pretty large by Australian standards - three levels covering ladies, mens and kidswear, with a fit out to match its other international outlets.
I visited on a Thursday night - and it was crowded! There was a wait for the dressing rooms, and another queue for the registers. It goes without saying that neither were long enough to put me off.
The collection was pretty broad - like the European range there was more workwear and evening wear than casual gear, and a small range of shoes, bags and accessories.
There were some lovely jackets and trenchcoats but most were too heavy for Brisbane winters - for me at least. I felt the same about quite a few of the long sleeved dresses. There were quite a few pretty silk sleeveless blouses though around the $60-$80 mark.
The prices were fairly similar to what I'd found overseas - jeans around $50, dresses $80-$150, jackets $100-$150 (although I did see a leather shearling jacket for $700) and leather shoes and bags between $100-$200.
So what did I buy? I was slightly more conservative than I thought and only bought two pieces (hey I've got a deck to pay for). I picked up this polka dot blouse for $59..
... and these skinny cord pants for $49. I was somewhat hesitant about these but wore them all day today and they were amazingly comfy.
So what was my verdict? It's a great store and offers more choice in the lower/middle price point range, but I really don't think its going to revolutionise the Australian shopping scene like some are predicting. It's been overhyped because it's the first big international arrival in that segment (I don't really rate GAP), but hopefully it'll do well enough to ensure that Topshop and H&M arrivals aren't too far away.