Zara launched its much anticipated transactional website in the UK yesterday as the fashion giant seeks to take a share of the growing online clothing market.


Gap went live with its transactional website at the end of August and H&M is poised for a limited launch next week to its newsletter subscribers followed by an opening of the site to all on September 16.

Pablo Isla, deputy chairman and chief executive at Zara’s parent company Inditex, said that the launch reflected the retailer’s determination to deliver the “best service possible” to customers. “The internet and the world of social networking are indispensable tools and extraordinary channels for communication, and fit perfectly with our group’s philosophy,” he said.

Customers will be able to have goods delivered or pick them up from one of Zara’s 65 UK stores. Goods can be returned by post or to stores free of charge.

The website includes lookbooks, videos with behind-the-scenes footage and seasonal campaign shots.

The online clothing, footwear and accessories market was worth almost £500m in the month of July, up 15% year-on-year according to industry body IMRG.

There was a mixed reaction to the site. One online fashion retailer said its design was not very differentiated from rivals and the express delivery option at £9.95 was expensive compared with competitors.