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Zara debuts online shopping outlet

03 September 2010 - 09:52 by Mike Price

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UK consumers who regularly shop at the Zara brand high street fashion stores will now be able to access all of the in-store products online thanks to the recently unveiled e-commerce site.

Zara will be retaining the high street prices for each of its products when they are sold online, but there will be a standard charge of £3.95 for delivery. Alternatively you can reserve products online and then head to your nearest Zara outlet to pick up your purchase, which will save you on delivery costs.

Zara's owner has simultaneously launched online shops for the store across Europe, with consumers in France, Italy, Spain and elsewhere being able to join with their UK contemporaries and enjoy safe shopping online while using the brand new service.

Zara has been taking advantage of the vast popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook to build up interest in its new online store. It already has over four and a half million members of its Facebook group, which means that publicising this launch and generating sales is a simple task.

Safe shopping online has allowed many high street retailers to stave off the effects of the economic slowdown and the collective spending power of western European nations is expected to generate £93 billion annually for e-commerce firms by the year 2014. This compares to the £68 billion that was spent online last year, according to figures collected by analyst firm Forrester.

Zara could see its revenue increase by over nine per cent in the next twelve months thanks to the launch of its online shopping portal, according to predictions from Barclays Capital.

Inditex, the retail giant which owns Zara and several other brands, has refrained from creating an online store until now, because it believes that there is a real mainstream demand for internet shopping where there was not in the past.