|image from Elle.co.za take a look at their review (here)|
THE PRODUCT: Great
The designs are classic Zara style and standard. Everything is on trend; lots of printed collared shirts, printed chiffon pants, neon blazers, studded everything and tons of neutral tone and textured clothing. The accessories department seemed okay and the shoes were definitely to die for! I pretty much fell in love with everything in store — besides the accessories. I had seen and purchased a few of the items in Dubai as well — that made me a bit sad though I must admit. There was a fun element in shopping overseas and bringing back different things. Not to worry though; since we're in the Southern Hemisphere the stock we receive is not the same as Northern Hemisphere stock, although some items may be similar. You can still expect to get different things in Europe and America on your next vacation.
The kids clothing is incredibly stylish! Since we don't have many stylish kids stores in South Africa this really excited me. I must admit I didn't go into the mens section — there were too many good-looking men in there and its Ramadan after all (ha ha).
THE PRICE: Disappointing
The one benefit about shopping Zara internationally is the prices are a lot cheaper... The South African prices of the items I purchased in Dubai are more than double the price here. It's really disappointing that we get amazing brands like Zara (and Mango) but we have to pay exorbitant prices. Im sure this has a lot to do with high import taxes in our country, nevertheless it's not fun paying more than we should.
THE SERVICE: Average
Considering the store was packed and it was the first official day of sales the staff handled the crowd quite well. I'd say in South African standards the service was quite good, although SA service completely stinks in general so I am not sure how good it really is. The floor manager seemed very catty and condescending when I asked her for help, but I'll give her a pass since she was most probably stressed. The staff at the counter and changing roomed seemed friendly although they may have been a bit inefficient because the check out and changing room queue was insanely long!
STORE DESIGN: Good
The store design is effective — highlighting the product clearly — it looks exactly like Zara everywhere else. One snag is that the place looked like a rummage sale as the staff weren't able to rehang and refold clothing fast enough as shoppers put them down. Im sure this will improve once the hype has died down a bit though. If you can pop in next week during the week it should be less overwhelming.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Its Zara, so yes it is worth the expense. The pricing is very similar to Country Road and Ternary's prices although the stock is completely different. There are a few reasonably priced items in store though and I presume the sales will make Zara affordable for everyone (especially those of us still being fed by the silver spoon). Personally I intend on buying something every now and then because it's not affordable enough for me to go on a crazy spree like I do when I am on vacation. The price of an average blazer is about 500ZAR and for a really amazing blazer its about 1500ZAR, which I personally think is a bit ridiculous since its much less abroad. I saw quite a few stunning, simple and reasonably priced items I'd like to go pick up though.
I hope you found this helpful, if you disagree with me in anyway lets talk! Comment your opinion below. If you know anything about SA import taxes and you'd like to educate us please feel free to comment too!
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