Harriet Walker: Watch out, the Spanish have staked their claim on the great British high street
Covering all bases, it's no surprise Zara has gone from strength to strength
The high street has become something of a latterday empire for us Brits; we’ve ruled the waves with brands such as Topshop and Marks & Spencer for decades, but recently there’s been a shift. The Swedes arrived, then the French – and now it seems the Spanish too have staked their claim on our territories.
That Zara has been chosen the most popular shop on the high street by British women is not much of a surprise. Some of our most dearly loved homegrown shops have become polarised according to age and price in recent years, while Zara has gone from strength to strength, covering all bases, ticking off all the trends, and keeping prices and quality in relative proportion.
It stocks workwear and office staples, homely basics, occasionwear and almost everything in between at a level of ‘fashionability’ that attracts a sophisticated urban shopper without scaring off those who don’t consider themselves among the cool cognoscenti. Accessories are strong too: there is a certain leather tote bag for sale at the moment that currently takes up more space per square foot of town centres than cars or pushchairs, it has been so popular.
Zara’s great tactic has been to shadow the mood of the most high-end catwalks without copying styles overtly and thereby rendering them faddy or short of shelf-life. Minimal separates and sharp tailoring make for practical modern classics with longevity, while a focus on neutral shades, monochrome and well-worn khakis and burgundies ensure purchases are accessible, and that they last beyond a single season.
But the main reason for Zara’s success is perhaps to have targeted the tastes and wallets of a slightly more mature clientele – that is, not teenagers. By that logic, Zara reels in those customers first learning how to spend their paypackets, and will keep them in its clutches for the next decade or so.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Paris Fashion Week: Skirting the issue for the stylish boys' brigade
Losing appetite as you age? Try adding umami flavour to restore the 'joy of taste'
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Miss Universe 2015: A beefeater, a yellow tree and an entire hockey game - the bizarre national costumes
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Office and HR Administrat...
£25000 - £26500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The On-Site division of the UK'...
£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...