Sunday, November 30, 2008

Zara Finally Comes to Australia

This news has gone under the radar, but I feel it should be given more recognition than it currently deserves.

After a gazillion years, Spanish clothing company Zara, is finally going to open its store in Australia! In the land of Down Under, chain-stores such as Bardot and Sportsgirl are well-known for producing the latest clothing and accessories from runway to real-life in the space of two weeks. With Zara entering the market soon, this will force all Australian chain stores, including Country Road and Kookai to pull up their socks . You would too if you're going to be competing with the largest fashion retailer in the world.

Zara is petite friendly-yes, that means for all you petites out there, you're going to find items of clothing that require little or no alteration.

I can hear everyone thinking, "Why did it take so long for Zara to come down under?"

The answer my friends, is the joint venture agreement (JVA) between Inditex and Australia's retail mogul, Peter Lew. What's a joint venture agreement you ask? In everyday terms, it's a business enterprise where two or more companies share the outlay, risk and profit. This discussion went for two years before both parties decided to open up the store in Australia.

You see, Zara founder, Amancio Ortega and its parent company Inditex were contemplating on whether to open up a store in Australia, as issues such as logistics and the different seasons in the southern hemisphere are playing havoc at the moment.

If you're scratching your head as to why Peter Lew sounds familiar, his father Solomon Lew use to be Chairman of Coles Myer (now Coles Group) and invested in retail companies such as Greshams Private Equity (owns stores such as Mimco and Witchery) and Just Group. I find Ortega giving the exclusive rights to Lew rather interesting. Why, you may ask? Lew copied techniques from Zara-where clothing was updated on a daily basis, rather than a seasonal basis. He used these technique to transform Witchery from a struggling store to a popular women's fashion chain-store.

Nevertheless, what's been decided right now they'll open up the first store in Bondi Junction Westfields between 2009 and 2010. My dreams have finally come true.

Now, if I only could say the same thing for Top Shop and H&M.


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