Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Going back in history; Burberry was founded in 1856 when 21-year-old Thomas Burberry, a former draper's apprentice, opened his own store in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. In 1880, Burberry introduced in his brand the gabardine, a hardwearing, water-resistant yet breathable fabric, in which the yarn is waterproofed before weaving. Burberry was the original name, but then the company soon switched to using the name Burberrys, after many customers from around the world began calling it Burberrys of London. This name is still visible on many older Burberry products.
In 1891, Burberry opened a shop in the Haymarket, London, which still exists and until recently was the site of Burberry’s corporate headquarters. Now the headquarters are at Horseferry House just behind Houses of Parliament, Westminster (London).
Burberry runs 3 different departments WOMENSWEAR, MENSWEAR AND CHILDRENSWEAR. This brand offers a wide variety of formal and casual wear. Still the most popular garment is the classic trench coat with its multiple variations every season with a different twist.
Womenswear prices range goes from 195.00 GBP for a pleated bib front shirt, 265.00 GBP for a jersey dress, 495.00 GBP for a jacket and 550.00 GBP for a trench coat.
There are around 11 Burberry shops in London, Bond Street flagship store, Covent Garden, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Heathrow terminal 1, 3, 4 and 5, Knightsbridge, Selfridges and White City.
The visual merchandising in Burberry stores is really tidy and clean. They have some special accessories and shoes sections in some stores. But it is pretty much the same as in ZARA stores. Their merchandising consists in creating at least 3 or 4 different outfits in each wall (hanging) and also they have some folded sweaters and bags at the top of each wall on a shelf.
Shopping experience is quite good. What I like about Burberry is that even if they are a luxurious brand; you can really feel welcomed into the store. The staff is really friendly and chilled not like in other designers stores where people tend to be not so welcoming unless you look like you going to spend thousands and thousands in the store.
Burberry main customers tend to be more grown up people, as their designs are really classic plus they are also really expensive, so its quite hard for young people to get anything from this brand. That doesn’t mean you can not find young clothing line, in fact they also do a lot of casual wear (which still looks quite dressy).
Burberry also gives the option of online shopping in their website which is: http://uk.burberry.com/store/
So it was a little bit hard for me to decide which stores I would be writing about. Anyway, after making up my mind, I decided that it would be fun to compare total different shops within the market levels.
I have chosen to take ZARA (Oxford circus); which is a high street store and compare it with Burberry (Regents street); which is a designer store.
ZARA is a global brand, at the cutting edge of the fashion retail industry. It is owned by the INDITEX group, whose headquarters are based in Spain. ZARA designs and produces its own products based on the latest trends and catwalk designs from around the world. With its unique ordering process, ZARA is able to create and deliver products to its stores around the globe faster than any other retailer and is able to offer the most stylish and fashionable products at the lowest possible prices.
ZARA UK was established in 1998 with the first ZARA opening on Regent Street, ZARA is one of the fastest growing brands in the UK.
ZARA runs 4 different departments which are: Womenswear, Menswear, Childrenswear and ZARA HOME. Each department with different colections, from young and fun to mature and classic designs. ZARA offers a wide variety of colors, shapes and trends.
ZARA WOMAN prices range goes from 7.99 GBP for a basic t-shirt to 239.00 GBP for a coat.
ZARA MAN prices range goes from 9.99 GBP for a basic t-shirt, 19.99 GBP for a print t-shirt, 149.00 GBP for a coat and 169.00 GBP for a leather jacket.
This brand gets all kind of customers, from age range to occupation, from young students to more grown up people. The main customers average age is around 20’s and 30’s years old professionals.
Having worked in a ZARA store before, I would say suits, shirts and coats are what most customers go to buy at ZARA. I think is because they are quite versatile as in they have different styles from classic to more fashionable and trendy. Also basic t-shirts and shirts are really good sellers through the whole year. I personally think the quality of the fabrics and materials are really good for the price they are selled for.
ZARA windows are always quite exciting to see, they really get into the themes and atmosphere that they want to create. Styling is always immaculate on the mannequins. The only sad thing about it, its that they use many accessories and objects that they actually don't sell in the store.
In ZARA Oxford circus you can only find WOMENSWEAR department which is on the main floor, TRF (TRAFALUC) and MENSWEAR departments which are on the basement floor.
Personally I love the way the merchandising is done in ZARA, because it is really organized and clean (visually) which is important to sell products. Also, they don’t have particular sections for jeans, basics, shoes, etc; like in other stores. ZARA merchandising consists in giving at least 6 different looks in each wall and these looks are divided also into categories which are young (jeans), classic, classic sport, moda and moda sport.
Shoes can be found at the bottom of each wall or tables and also on display around the shop floor. Bags are normally displayed at the top of each wall and sometimes on the tables. Hats, ties and scarves usually have their own display space in the shop floor.
Shopping experience depends on the time and day you visit the store. If u wish to have a pleasant shopping trip and get really good customer service, without waiting long time in the queus for fitting rooms or tills; then I highly recommend you go before 2pm. Otherwise it is really a nightmare, with long queus, untidy tables and a lot of customers.
Return and exchange policies are pretty much the same than any other store in London. You can buy anything and if you then change your mind, refund or exchange can be done within 30 days having your receipt with you of course.
Online shopping is available also in its website which is: http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/home/uk/en/zara-W2011 , they also have facebook page for daily updates, http://www.facebook.com/Zara.