Are Big Stores the New Small Stores?

Zara is the first fashion retailer to do away with small stores in favor of one multi-story location. Will other brands follow suit?
Zara closing stores

Recently Zara, a popular fast-fashion retailer, closed down four smaller stores in its Spanish hometown in favor of opening a single, larger store. With more shoppers heading online, this move is part of Zara's strategy to keep up with changing times — and could lead to other chains doing the same.

From Four Stores to Five Stories

Zara's new store is over 54,000 square feet, five stories tall, and serves as a design for its other flagship stores around the world. Because shoppers tend to favor online shopping over in-store, Zara wants to attack the problem on two fronts, with bigger physical stores and an expanded online presence.

These bigger stores are meant to provide the full range of its collections, which should tempt shoppers to buy more.

These bigger stores are meant to provide the full range of its collections, which should tempt shoppers to buy more. More access in one location could lead to customers having an easier time of finding items they like, and purchasing more in one trip than they would at a smaller store.

Customers Likely to Spend More

Having access to entire collections isn't the only thing that could cause customers to spend more. As we've seen with warehouse stores, large physical locations mean customers are more likely to take their time. As shoppers meander through a store — either hunting for a particular item or simply shopping at their own pace — they're more likely to see something that piques their interest.

SEE ALSO: What Happens to Prices When a Store Closes?

And when a store takes up over 54,000 square feet of space, that's a lot of room for strategic product placement, which will no doubt attract shoppers.

New Shopping Habits Yield New Store Strategies

The rise of online shopping and the lingering effects of the 2008 economic crisis have had a devastating effect on many big-name clothing brands. Several retailers have filed for bankruptcy or shuttered their doors altogether. But if Zara has found a way to cope with the changing landscape, other stores could soon follow suit by building their own megastores.

Readers, do you think more retailers should shift to fewer, larger stores like Zara? Would you be more likely to shop such locations, or do you prefer to shop online? Let us know in the comments below!

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
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