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Zara Deploys AR At 120 Stores

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Zara will introduce augmented reality (AR) displays with a linked purchasing function at 120 stores worldwide beginning April 18, according to Reuters. Customers pointing their smartphones at in-store sensors or designated shop windows will be able to see a model wearing an outfit, and then can click through to purchase the items.

The technology will also let models “pop up” on the packaging of online purchases delivered to customers, giving the retailer an opportunity to show off alternative outfits.

Zara is rolling out the displays with the goal of drawing Millennials into its stores, but the program could resonate with Generation Z as well. Members of this up-and-coming generation are seeking a “physical and digital playground in which they can try, experiment with and enjoy the product,” said Brandon Rael, Founder of BR Advisory, in a discussion with the RetailWire Brain Trust.

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The use of AR comes on the heels of other technology innovations at Zara, a division of Inditex. The retailer is deploying robots behind the scenes at 85 stores to ensure rapid delivery of selected merchandise. Customers will scan or enter a code at in-store collection points, while the robot searches for the correct package and delivers it to a drop box.

In January 2018, the retailer opened a pop-up store in London focused on ordering and collecting online purchases. The location, which Zara plans to keep open until May, includes a product recommendation system based on information screens embedded in mirrors.

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