Last summer we had a family vacation in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We stayed at a resort some 50 miles south of Cancun proper. I even had a brief post Cancun Vacation with some pictures back in summer. During that vacation we had one day trip to Cancun and among other things we stopped by at La Isla shopping mall to walk around, get Starbucks (what else can you expect from self-absorbed Americans staying abroad ), and get a breath of urbanized civilization after a week in our remote resort.
While we were walking around the shopping area my family spotted a Zara store and went in to check out the local assortment of clothing. At that time I had never had paid attention and basically was unaware about the Zara fashion chain. This was the first time Zara got onto my radar and I still did not care much about it. I actually stayed outside while my family went in.
Then in my Fall 2011 term at GWU School of Business MBA program I had a group project in my Database and Web Analytics class, see a post inspired by that class here. My group mate suggested to pick up Zara for analysis and that’s how I really learned a lot about the company. Turned out I had been passing by the Zara store many times in the nearby mall at home without ever paying attention to its existence.
There were a lot of interesting things I learned about Zara and its parent holding group – Inditex while doing research for the group project. One of the things was that Zara does not spend a lot of money on outright advertising, and at the same time meticulously work on their stores windows as a part of their marketing approach. Since I did not care about Zara back in summer I did not even remember what their windows looked like at that time.
Later, when I was working on the Zara group project and stumbled upon Zara in the mall close to my home I actually took a few pictures of their windows as they were indeed quite appealing, even if in a succinct way. Here are a few pictures of Zara’s windows I took:
This time when I had a short getaway to Cancun with my wife during the winter break our resort was right across from the La Isla Shopping Mall. When we went down to walk around the mall one day I made sure to go to Zara store and take a look at their windows. Now that I was aware and somewhat involved with Zara after the group project I naturally had interest in it.
So you can imagine my being surprized and a bit disappointed when I saw Zara’s windows: they were empty! I am not sure if it was a permanent look of that particular store or it was just a short intermission between the changes of the windows displays, but I did not get a chance to see Zara’s signature windows this time around. Here are the pictures:
On a brighter note, my wife told me that Cancun Zara store has better clothing designs than the one around our home place: more fashionable and possibly a better quality craftsmanship. For that I will have to take her word.