Zalora comes to life with a new pop-up store

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The online retailer Zalora brings its internet-based shopping experience and brand savvy to the real world with a new pop-up store that, thanks to an on-the-spot catwalk, selfie-ready dressing rooms, and stocks of the company’s trendiest pieces, is a shareable dream come true. Photo by DENISE FABELLA

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Paulo Campos, the CEO and co-founder of the self-styled “online fashion destination” Zalora, is wearing a gray suit, with his black leather belt smartly matching his black leather shoes. A blue pocket square is tucked neatly into his blazer pocket. “Don’t look at me, I don’t know anything [about styling],” he jokes. But what Campos admittedly lacks in styling acumen, he makes up for with his knowledge about his clientele and the developing e-commerce industry in the Philippines.

Already, Zalora offers convenient e-commerce options such as cash on delivery, free delivery for orders above ₱995, and a 30-day free return period. But it also has the Zalora pop-up store, to aid it in abolishing apprehensions Filipinos have about online shopping. With the store, there is no need for potential customers to worry about the complications that may arise with e-commerce, as they are welcome to try on clothes featured on the website before purchasing them online.

Located in Bonifacio High Street Central, the new clicks-and-mortar store — that is, it has services both on the web and in real life — is said to revolve around three words: digital, lifestyle, and fashion. “I would say that the customer experience and how they interact with the store is new,” Campos says. Zalora has made its novel process of purchasing clothes more seamless and easier to understand. In addition to self-service checkout stations, customers may now download the Zalora app and use their phones to scan the barcodes of the pieces they like themselves. Fashion consultants are also on hand to assist the customers and even offer styling sessions during shopping sprees.

zalora Located in Bonifacio High Street Central, Zalora's new clicks-and-mortar store — that is, it has services both on the web and in real life — is said to revolve around three words: digital, lifestyle, and fashion. Photo from ZALORA/INSTAGRAM  

As the people behind it understand that it has grown largely from the shares, tags, and likes its clothes receive on social media, Zalora has turned the pop-up into a social and collaborative space. It makes sure that every inch of the store is Instagram-ready, with its sleek, industrial setup and its carefully curated selection of clothes. The dressing room is clad with lighting designed to capture the perfect #OOTD (outfit of the day), and customers are encouraged to step out in the clothes they are trying and strut down the nearby catwalk. “The future of retail is also about shareable moments,” Campos says. “It’s a bit cliché, but it’s true.” For a quick break, customers are also welcome to unwind in the store’s lounge area, which has a television equipped with a PlayStation.

Partnerships with MasterCard, Globe, and Sony have allowed Zalora to offer exclusives for members and subscribers, such as discounts and gift certificates.

Additionally, the company is launching the Make Me a Zalora Model competition. Residents of Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines are invited to participate in the social media-run contest. Starting on Aug. 3 and running for nine weeks, the contest is open to females ages 18 to 25, who can join by uploading their best photos on Instagram and using the hashtag #MMAZM. Every week, a winner will be selected as Model of the Week. Six of these winners will become semifinalists and compete in the grand finale in Singapore to be the first Zalora model competition winner. “We believe ‘Make Me a Zalora Model’ will provide aspiring models with the opportunity to kick-start careers in the fashion industry and show that it’s possible to achieve their dream,” says Tito Costa, Zalora’s chief marketing officer.

zalora Every inch of the store is Instagram-ready, with its sleek, industrial setup and its carefully curated selection of clothes. Photo by DENISE FABELLA  

Asked about the future of the company, Campos argues that it’s all about real estate, both in the physical world and in the cybersphere. “What app do you have on your phone to shop for clothes five years from now?” he asks by way of example. “You’ll probably have one app where all the brands are there, including some brands you can’t find anywhere else.”

According to him, the company aspires “to be the largest fashion retailer in the Philippines, whether it be online or offline.” There might not be a permanent clicks-and-mortar store any time soon, however: “We like the idea of pop-up,” Campos explains. ”We like the idea of something being novel. We like the idea of being able to visit more of our customers throughout the country. We like the idea of going around and going to our customers and them having a chance to see us one at a time. But it could change.”

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The Zalora pop-up store is located at C3, Lower Ground Floor, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. More details on the Make Me a Zalora Model competition will be available on the Zalora website starting Aug. 3.