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Talk of the Day -- Fast fashion brand ZARA comes to Taiwan

Talk of the Day -- Fast fashion brand ZARA comes to Taiwan

The Spanish fast fashion brand Zara has entered the Taiwan retail scene with the opening of its first Taiwan store at Taipei 101 shopping mall Saturday. When Japan's hot, hip brand Uniqlo opened its first store in Taiwan last October, it created quite a stir, with more than 2,500 young fans lining up overnight at the store for the first day of business. The Zara store did not inspire such a craze at its opening, according to local media reports. Zara offered free breakfast to early arrivals, but not all its giveaways were taken since only about 200 people had showed up at 9 a.m. when the doors opened, the United Evening News reported. Crowds did not begin to gather inside and outside the Zara store until around noon, the paper said. The following is an excerpt of the United Evening News report on the arrival of Zara in the Taiwan fast fashion retail market: The Zara store at the iconic Taipei landmark skyscraper can accommodate a maximum of 700 to 800 shoppers, but entry control was not needed in the first few hours of its opening. It was not until around noon that throngs of Zara fans began to arrive. At one point, more than 500 people were queued up outside the store, while some 800 were shopping inside. A man surnamed Sun was the first to enter the store when it opened. He said he had been there since 7:30 a.m. "I did not expect to be the first to arrive because I thought there would be a large turnout," he said. In anticipation of a large number of Zara fans, Taipei 101 increased the number of its security guards to 40 Saturday, but it seemed that the additional staff was not needed. Taipei 101 management said it could not estimate the exact number of visitors to the new Zara store on the opening day. Fashion sources said Zara's followers are usually not fond of lining up, as Uniqlo shoppers do, to buy new designs. Moreover, Zara does not advertise or run promotional campaigns, nor does it offer any discounts on opening sales. Liu Wei-kung, a sociology associate professor at Soochow University in suburban Taipei, said he was not surprised by the relatively low turnout on Zara's opening day. "Zara has never launched any commercials to promote its products," Lu said. "While there have been few long lines in front of any of its stores around the world, the group has consistently posted strong business records." Liu said he does not think having long lines of shoppers is a good marketing strategy. Like all of its other stores around the world, the Zara Taipei 101 store did not offer any promotional packages to celebrate its opening, except for a celebrity party on Friday evening. A total of 2,500 VIPs were invited to the party and to shop at the store from 7:30 p.m. Friday through 1 a.m. Saturday. Liu said Uniqlo tends to use popular actors in commercials that are shown on metro trains, city buses or TV programs prior to the opening of a new store. Such a strategy may attract long lines of young people at its store openings, but may not necessarily translate into good sales, he said. The professor pointed to the French luxury fashion brand LV as a successful example of the low-keyed approach. "We have never seen a huge crowd at the opening of an LV store, but the brand tends to be very profitable," he said. In his view, Liu said, Zara would give local clothing dealers stronger competition than Uniqlo. Zara's clientele tends to be wealthy, elite professionals, while young students form the backbone of Uniqlo customer base, he said. The new Zara Taipei store sells woman, man, kids autumn-winter collections, with prices set slightly higher than those offered in European markets but roughly same as those available in Hong Kong. (Nov. 5, 2011). (By Sofia Wu)


Updated : 2021-08-02 05:41 GMT+08:00