12 Jan 2011

European fast fashion in Oz

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I know many Europeans living in Australia would like to see the Swedish retail gigant and Europe’s second largest clothing retailer, H&M, in Australia. According to what I’ve read the company is looking into the possibilities of opening a store in Australia but nothing is set yet. H&M has 2 200 stores in over 37 countries but still none in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m convinced it would be a great success but I guess one of the barriers by establishing themselves in Southern Hemisphere countries is that the seasons are opposite to ours up in the Northern Hemisphere and that of course makes it a bit more difficult.

Another popular chain that is set to open their first store in Australia this year is Spanish Zara, one of the most successful retail fashion brands in the world. The chain has around 1500 stores in over 74 countries and they open their first Australian store in the brand new Westfield Shopping Centre in Sydney CBD.
The outlet, expected to open in April, will be a three level, 1830 square metre store and I’m predicting a huge success.

Why Sydney and not Melbourne was my first thought, but then I read that a second five level store will be opened in Melbourne too, in Bourke Street Mall next to David Jones. The Melbourne store is set to open in early 2011 possibly in early April and it seem to be a bit of a race going on regarding which of the two stores that will actually open first.

The distance and the seasonal differences between Australia and Zara’s Spanish headquarters is not expected to impact the ranges offered Down Under. The chain already operates in several Southern Hemisphere countries  where the seasons are reversed. So if Zara can do it so can H&M, don’t you think?

*Fast fashion is a term used by fashion retailers to acknowledge that designs move from catwalk to store in the fastest time to capture current trends in the market.

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