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Zara unveils one of its world’s largest shops ahead of Madrid opening

Spain’s Zara fashion empire unveiled on Thursday (April 7) one of its world’s largest stores which is set to open on Friday (April 8) in Madrid’s ‘Edificio Espana’, a historical building in the city centre.

Media were given access ahead of the opening of the 3,800-square-meters of retail area which is divided over four floors. The entire space is 7,700-square-meters, Zara said in a statement.

Defined as their “most innovative” store with the “most advanced environmental eco-efficiency systems,” clients will be able to discover the store on their phone with a QR code. Services to buy and collect products purchased online will also be available.

The opening of the new shop comes less than a week after Marta Ortega, the daughter of Inditex’s billionaire founder Amancio Ortega, took the helm of his Zara fashion empire on April 1 with a more hands-on role than originally expected by outsiders, though a much lower salary than her veteran predecessor.

The 38-year-old will also remain involved in managing fashion merchandise at Zara, the business that generates 70% of Inditex’s revenues, the company said.

The transition comes as the world’s largest fast fashion retailer by sales, having largely weathered the COVID pandemic, faces the challenge of losing revenues from Russia, where it has mothballed operations following the invasion of Ukraine, and surging inflation that will likely force it to raise prices.

Zara, and other group chains such as Stradivarius and Pull&Bear, must also deal with the rapid rise of Shein, the world’s largest online-only fashion company selling cheap clothes to primarily younger customers.

(Production: Michael Gore, Miguel Gutierrez)

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