Having heard on the grapevine that Zara, H&M, Banana Republic and Gap would shortly be launching their online stores in the UK it wasn’t until I was in London last week and spotted a Zara bag with emblazoned with the words ‘Shop Online’ that I realised they’d been and gone and actually done it.
What sets Zara apart from the other three is that they have all been online for years, just not on these shores, so it was interesting to have a good look at all four and compare.
H&M has a fresh, casual, lifestyle feel to it as you would expect as this is aimed at a young, casual, modern customer, having said that, there are some very good basics as well and the site is a pleasure to browse. Some of the prices seem ridiculously low when you look at them on the screen rather than the clothes packed together on the rails however that is what H&M is all about and I’m sure they’ll do brilliantly here.
Zara is another story altogether, being a new online launch and rather looking that way. There’s none of the excitement on this website (I found) however you are taken very quickly to large clear pictures of well styled clothes where you can immediately see if your size is available. The descriptions are sparse to say the least. For me to say I want the buzz of the stores is very strange, as I usually detest the loud music and the packed rails, however a little more life and some friendly words wouldn’t go astray and guys……..I don’t speak Spanish. A few translations needed please.
Gap is exactly what you expect, with campaign ad photography and a wonderfully clear layout taking you to Gap casualwear for men, women, kids and babies. The new jeans and pants collections look, I have to say, extremely tempting, and there are also the usual casual basics that, if you’re a true Gap fan, you won’t be able to resist. It was high time they launched online here – I hope this website does really well. It should, bearing in mind our growing love of everything online.
Finally, Banana Republic, a long time favourite of mine and a first port of call when I’m in the US, which is happily frequently these days. The whole range hasn’t yet made it online and please…………..where are the shoes? Again they’ve only just launched here and I’m sure that this site will be a success. Give us the shoes, the full range, and pleeeeeze replace the US sizes with UK (If you can manage the £££s you can manage the fact that we go from a 4(?) to an 18, not a 0 (horrors) to a 14, surely.
This is all of course very good news for online and for us as customers – those who haven’t yet woken up to the online bonanza, get a move on, would you? Or you’re going to miss the boat entirely…………….