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Zara is a Spanish clothing and accessories retailer based in Arteixo, Galicia, and founded in 1975 by Amancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera. Zara is one of the largest international fashion companies. It belongs to Inditex, one of the world’s largest distribution groups. The customer is at the heart of the unique business model, which includes design, production, distribution and sales through Zara's extensive retail network.
In general I found most of the staff(especially the ones at the cashier) to be snobbish, unfriendly and unhelpful. Although they have a 30 day refund/exchange policy, it is such a hazzle if you actually try to do so. Especially if you are used to the very customer friendly atmosphere at shops like H&M, you would be greatly disappointed at Zara.
When I tried to get an item refunded they first asked me a lot of questions as to why I want to refund. After satisfactorily answering them I was asked to wait for over 10 minutes for them to get "approval" from their manager for the refund. Then they tell me that I don't have the Visa card slip of the purchase(although I had the bill) and asked me to come back with it. Next day I went again with the visa slip and I had to undergo the same process of questioning and waiting forever for approval and then they asked for my Visa card with which I made the purchase. It was my friend's Visa card that I used previously, so obviously I didn't have it with me this time. They refused to do the refund for me. So frustrating! Such a waste of time and money!
It's a shame that such a 'classy' shop have such 'unclassy' customer service.
For a start I just visited Zara outlet in Spain last December, it was having the annual winter sale and dresses (yes im talking about those that carried the $129 price tag) were going for $9.99 euroes. That will be less than $20 sgd? This means that your $100 went to shipping, rental, taxes.... To put on material scale $100 could have go to 30 plates of hokkien mee, or carousel buffet for 2 pax, or an air ticket to Phuket via airasia?
Think about it.
The inconvenience of having to drop by a Zara shop again (my office and home are rather far away from any Zara shop) made me delaying the trip back to the store for forever, until one day I had a chance to visit one and brought that to the cashier to remove. They however refused to do that, insisting that they need a receipt in order to do something like that. It is as if I am a thief of some kind... They insisted that I need to come back to the store the day after with all the information on what shop it is, when it is, who the cashier is... and even in that case were not all sure that they can help me without the receipt.
I tried to explain that the cashier forgot to remove that device for me and it was not my fault that I have to come through all this difficulty to get a simple thing done. The skirt is not damn expensive, but it is, after all, my money, and I feel so cheated by this kind of service.
Having been in one of the Melbourne Zara branches, I can dare say that the Singapore branches do pale somewhat in comparison. In the Melbourne branch, all the clothes were folded impeccably, with a bright fluorescent lighting shining vibrantly through all the different racks of clothes. Walking around that branch, was like walking around the office of Meryl Streep's character in the Devil Wears Prada - fierce, vibrant and sassy. While the Zara branches I had visited in Vivocity as well as Great World City, had a more diminutive vibe to it, where the lighting was much more dim and one could describe it as underwhelming to a point. I have also seen several displays where the clothes were flung haphazardly around after being man-handled by the customers, and were not properly attended to by the sales associates, who I noticed were busy chatting away at their own corner.
The prices at Zara always made me cringe, however I did purchase a simple white t-shirt with a statement in black bold font on the front for $25. For such steep prices as well as the poshness that comes with the brand name, I had expected the quality of the clothing to be very good. I was proved wrong however, when I discovered by shirt has shrunk a size and become rather flimsy after being washed only once!
All in all, I will say that while the Zara outlets in Singapore may carry a more high-end label to its products, I'm sad to say that in both their product quality and store design, it is much more bark than actual bite.
Though priced a few notches higher than the market, their apparels are sure to be value for money. Having own a few in my wardrobe for years, the quality of their clothes has yet to disappoint! Their cutting is also fabricated to neatly show off a woman's greatest asset: their figure.
Splurge on good quality apparels and you won't have to constantly buy more to replace the run-of-the-mill few. Though I know that's not the case for girls.. Hahaha!
While high street fashion seems to have taken a bit of a downturn in recent times, and cheap, flimsy material makes their appearance more known in several high street fashion brands, Zara retains the quality that it'd always had, and this definitely keeps customers coming back for more.
Although a little on the pricier end, with dresses coming up to above $90, the clothing at Zara is always of impeccable quality, and there is without a doubt that the clothes are worth every single cent.
Personally, I like shopping in Zara, even though my budget hardly allows for any buys, as the wooden flooring of the store, and the neat lay out of the store definitely feels elegant, and provides a refreshing variant to the noisy, packed, and messy floors of other brands like H&M.
Truly a high street fashion brand that has proven that it can provide fashionable clothing of good quality.
The downside is that it isn't quite in the affordable range for students like me, so I can't always buy clothes from them or else I'd have to eat grass for a month. Thankfully, Zara has a sale every now and then such as during the Great Singapore Sale or at the end of the season so that's the best time to visit Zara if you're on a budget like me.
Unfortunately, I have yet to own many pieces from the brand as the prices are rather steep. Even its younger and more affordable line of clothing Zara TRF is quite expensive. So, be sure to look out for its semi-annual sales, usually held in mid year and end of year, to enjoy 30-50% off regular priced items. Do be prepared to brave huge crowds, messy heaps of clothes, and massive queues outside the fitting rooms and counters.
Personally, I do feel that the staff could be more polite and helpful in terms of their service. More often than not, I meet rather snobbish and unfriendly staff in Zara who seemed pretty unwilling to help their customers look for that particular denim shorts or that specific pair of blue ballerina flats. In the last mystery shopper customer service test conducted by Urban (The Straits Times), they scored below the passing mark. Definitely lots of room for improvement!
The prices of Zara's apparels tend to be slightly more expensive, but I feel that it is extremely worth it. The material of their clothes are good quality and the cutting is fabulous. It is only their t-shirts that I don't see a point in buying. Other than that, their dresses, jeans, blouses, jackets are really gorgeous.
The only downside of Zara is that their sizing tend to be slightly big. But they do alterations for a small price. Do look out for their end of season sale where most of their items go on sale and you can save up to 50%!
When I finally decided to buy the shirt, and that's about 3 weeks after I first saw it and probably the 20th time (exaggerated) I've visited Zara for the shirt, I never regretted it since.
The material of the shirt feels soft to the touch and comfy to wear. It resembles silk although not as smooth. On a plus note, it doesn't crease as much even after washing, rendering it wrinkle-free for me since I usually wear it without the need for ironing. Perhaps it's due to the color but even when I'm sweating from walking out to lunch on a hot, sunny day, the perspiration doesn't show on my back. The best part? I've received numerous feedbacks from colleagues that the shirt looks good and have people asking me where I bought the shirt from.
All in all, although Zara merchandises are still a tad expensive to me, I find them valued-for-money and would never hesitate (thereafter the first purchase) to indulge myself in their products once in a while.