22 Juicy Facts About Zara, Straight From an Insider Employee
We all want the insider scoop on our favorite places. For us, that's not an eatery or Disneyland — it's Zara. Fashion girls know this is the hot spot for trendy, affordable pieces, but beyond that, everything else is pretty much a mystery. We have questions like "When are the sales?" and "What are the most popular items?" For this insider information, I decided tap my friend (who wished to remain anonymous) who is a sales associate at Zara in NYC. She's been working at the store for four years, so you can bet she has a lot of shopping secrets to share. Read on for all the juicy details.
1. All Zara employees get 25 percent off every item in the store, including anything in the sale section.
2. The best time to shop at Zara is before noon. As soon as it hits 1 p.m., the fitting line and register lines get super long. The busiest days are weekday afternoons, because that's when people are on their lunch breaks, and the weekends.
3. In the store, there are three main sections: Women's and Women's Studio, Basics, and Trafaluc. Basics is the most popular because that's where the plain t-shirts, tank tops, and bodysuits live year round. The women's section has regular women and studio, which is the brand's higher-end pieces (above $200), and the clothes don't get restocked after it's sold out.
4. If you see Trafaluc on a Zara tag, go a size up. Everything in this section comes in a smaller size (perfect for petite ladies!).
5. Most Zara stores don't carry everything that is online. The stores that receive the new online merchandises first in NYC are the 52nd Street and SoHo locations.
6. If an item doesn't sell well in a store, all those pieces will get shipped to a warehouse (called Consigna in New Jersey) and rerouted to another Zara store for sell.
7. Customers can actually order from the warehouse! If you don't see an item on the floor but it is online, ask a Zara employee to look it up in the warehouse location. The order can then be shipped to the store for you the next day.
8. Zara gets new merchandise shipped into stores biweekly every Monday and Thursday morning before the store opens (around 5 a.m. or 6 a.m.). Three-fourths of the items, however, go to back stock and won't be on the floor. Throughout the day, the store will also receive smaller shipments of items.
9. Every item has a display number because there's only supposed to be a certain number of that item on the floor. Usually there are 20 dresses, eight to 12 shirts, and five pairs of shoes, and pants are one of each size. If you don't see your size, always ask an employee to check back stock for you.
10. There's a reason the bags are sometimes displayed on the floor (next to the shoes) . . . it makes it easier for shorter customers to see and reach!
11. Zara's big semiannual sale occurs the week after Christmas and then sometime in June. This year the sale in stores and online starts June 18 (but shhh, you didn't hear that here). You know the sale is starting in stores when employees rearrange the clothing so shirts are on one wall and pants are on the other.
12. The sale items are rearranged by price, so the most expensive pieces will be toward the front of the store.
13. Zara has supercute kids' clothes that go from ages 14 to 15 and some pieces can actually fit adult women. In the wintertime, the sweaters are made to fit loosely, so petite ladies, scoop one up!
14. The most popular items right now are swimsuits and the body-curve jeggings. The swimwear is made with cotton material, so customers can wear them as regular tops with jeans.
15. Although Zara does not offer a discount on any stained or broken items, the store will make a note of it on your receipt and will allow that item to be returned without questions asked.
16. For any stained or damaged items in the store, employees set them aside for an outside service to come pick them up. The service will separate items into wash or repair once a week.
17. Employees recommend shopping the collection pieces (you'll see the name on the tag) because the line offers quality plain tees and tanks. Zara will rework pieces from here that aren't quite right for the following year, so a dress or straps of a top could come back shorter.
18. Zara has a team of styling experts called visuals. In the mornings, the visual team will rearrange the items on the floor. If they think a particular blazer, shirt, and pair of shoes work together, they will group those items for easy access together. Each store has different visuals, though, so the way the items are styled will differ. There's also a booklet with photos of how others arranged their items so visual teams can get inspiration.
19. The most popular Zara store in NYC is the SoHo location, 503 Broadway.
20. The starting pay at is $12 an hour plus global commission.
21. Always have the reference number handy when looking for an online item at the store. The number can be grabbed online underneath the item name. You can also check online for an item's availability in a Zara near you.
22. You can ship your online purchases to a store to avoid the shipping fees.