International Clothing Brand Opens in Lakeside Shopping Center
NEW ORLEANS – Last Thursday, before Lakeside Shopping Center even opened for business, a small group of reporters, photographers and social media influencers gathered inside a bright, vast store, filled with fashion-forward yet affordable clothing – Zara. They were present for a press conference promoting the shop’s grand opening, which took place the following day.
Guests sipped mimosas and dined on quiche, fancy yogurt parfaits, and fresh pastries while listening to Zara employees highlight their brand, which is based in Spain where it originated, but now boasts more than 2200 stores around the world.
Although there are a few Zara stores in southeast Texas, the brand’s Metairie location is the only Zara store in Louisiana. Their Atlanta and Miami locations comprise the other two Zaras in the South.
Known for its contemporary and diverse collection of clothing, where a standard women’s blouse costs between $30 and $50, the Metairie Zara is expected to attract tourists and locals alike, and provide a bit of an economic boost to Jefferson Parish.
“This is a significant retail win for Jefferson Parish and Lakeside Shopping Center,” said Jerry Bologna, the president and CEO of JEDCO, The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO). “Zara is a desirable brand that we believe will attract new shoppers into the community. With their nearest location being Houston, we anticipate Zara will drive new traffic from the rest of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to our parish to shop and enjoy our other amenities.”
“We anticipate Zara will generate increased sales tax revenue,” he continued. “Additionally, the attraction of this brand solidifies Lakeside as a super-regional retail destination and will help to continue attracting other desirable retail brands.”
The 23,730 square-foot store spans two floors and features the brand’s latest global designs in women’s, men’s, and kids’ collections. It's eco-efficient and consumes 20 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than a traditional shop.
“We are always in the best locations,” said Amaya Guillermo, who works in Zara’s communication and corporate affairs division, noting that the store’s floor-plan is standard for all Zara shops. The minimalistic design, with its white floors and walls, creates an emphasis on the clothing displays.
“We are happy to be in New Orleans. People from New Orleans are really stylish,” she said. “This is a global city, and we share that characteristic with New Orleans, because we are a global fashion company.”
By Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur, Biz New Orleans associate news editor