Nov 5, 2021 - Business

When is Charlotte getting a Zara?


Bloomberg / Contributor via Getty Images

Anytime Axios Charlotte shares news about a trendy chain coming to town, we get questions about Zara.

When we shared that Outdoor Voices is coming to South End yesterday, the comments poured in. Almost 20% of the notes on the Instagram announcement, about Outdoor Voices, were related to Zara.

  • “Can we just get a Zara 😂.” — Kiki E. , Instagram (the comment has 76 likes)
  • “WE WANT A ZARA !!!! @axioscharlotte” — Rae M., Instagram
  • “@zara 🗣 WHEN ARE YALL COMING TO CHARLOTTE 😒.” — P.C., Instagram
  • “Give us a Zara or GTFO.” — Madison B., Instagram
  • “PLEASE LORD @zara COME TO CHARLOTTE.” – Olivia B., Instagram

[Axios related story: Zara, Wegmans, Wawa and 9 other retailers Charlotte wants]

The thirst for a Zara in Charlotte isn’t new. Ten years ago when the Spain-based retailer made online shopping available in America, it made local headlines.

Charlotte magazine wrote about it — and back then we were just grateful to have “a piece of the pie.”

  • Now, passionate shoppers are feeling impatient.
  • One reader even emailed us to say: “I’m starting to think there’s an anti-Zara conspiracy in Charlotte…”

Unfortunately, there’s no evidence a Zara is coming to Charlotte. Zara, Phillips Place and South Park Mall didn’t respond to our requests about whether the fashion chain has any plans to move here.

I asked professional stylist Brittany Newcomb of B.Noble Styled if she has any intel on whether we’ll ever get a Zara. She said no, but the demand is real.

  • Every time she posts a Zara haul on her Instagram, clients flood her inbox, too.

She thinks Zara is appealing to Charlotteans for a few reasons, including the company’s hard-to-navigate website and the quality for the price point across men’s, women’s and kid’s clothing.

  • People in Charlotte have been craving it for so long, it’s almost like an “elusive unicorn,” Newcomb said.

If Zara were to move to Charlotte, here’s where it could go:

1. Phillips Place. In recent years, the upscale shopping center has recently undergone a refresh with cosmetic updates and some new tenants like Ladies of Lineage and the three-story RH store with a rooftop restaurant. Adding a Zara would attract more millennials to the shopping center.

2. Uptown. As the heart of our city emerges from the pandemic, a splashy opening like Zara could restore the district’s vibrance.

3. Atherton. Trendy chains already flock to this area, so it makes sense Zara would want a slice of the South End cake.

Newcomb says she’d like to see a brand new outdoor retail development in Charlotte, similar to the Buckhead Village District in Atlanta, that could be anchored by Zara.

My thought bubble: If the retailer has any plans to expand their brick-and-mortar footprint, I have faith Charlotte will land one in the next 5 years.


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