NEWS.am STYLE presents an interview with Yassine Sibari, Executive General Director of Zara and Inditex Group in Saudi Arabia, Central Asia and Caucasus.
Inditex Group is opening stores in Armenia. Did you study the Armenian market before opening? What did the study show?
Of course, we did our feasibility study. It was last year but it did not take us long time to decide that we want to be here. Armenian people are very fashionable, they like fashion very much. We can see it in the streets and other places. The first time we came here was last year and a year after we are opening stores on Saturday, October 20.
What do you think, are there many solvent consumers? If you calculate on 20-point scale, how would you assess solvency ratio?
I would say, 14 out of 20, which is very good. We realized that fashion in general is a priority, especially for Armenian women. We found out that a person does not really have a good power purchase but she will never avoid being fashionable, buying good clothes, especially now when she will have a number one brand in the world here, in Armenia.
You have recently opened a store in Georgia. Now you are opening a store here. What do you think are the prospects for development of your brands in the region?
Inditex Group is not only Zara, it is also Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Pull & Bear, etc. So now we are opening six of our stores in Dalma Garden Mall. On Saturday we will open Zara, Massimo Dutti and Oysho. The next - Pull & Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius - will open later this month. Our plan is to open three stores per brand in the coming three years which will lead us to 18 stores in Armenia.
There is an opinion in Armenia that European brands coming here are not new. They think the collections are from last years’ seasons. Is that true in case of your brand?
In our case it is not so. Everything that you could find around the world, in stores in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Barcelona, you find here in Yerevan, too. It is absolutely the same collection. We have automatic distributing. The computer does not know where Yerevan, New York or London is, it is the same collection going to every store in the world.
You saw how Armenian women are dressed. What can you say about their style?
There is something really interesting. Here you can see fashion in the streets. At 12 o’clock afternoon or at 1 p.m. you can see people dressed in an evening style, very chic, high heels which you cannot find in the western world. So the culture here is to dress up in the right way, no matter whether it is morning or evening. You can see fashion everywhere. People are loving fashion here, especially women.
There is an opinion that a person who is always following fashion trends, does not differ from others. He is an ordinary person. Do you agree?
No, if a person is in this sector, in this field, he has to follow fashion, the latest trends. It is a key of success in our business. You need to be very up-to-date because it is a very fast moving sector so we need to be always up-to-date if we need to succeed.
Are Armenians dressed in eastern style rather than European?
Actually it is more European. You can see people dressing well. They have taste, which is the most important. However, there are not many fashion brands here, not enough to cover the needs of Armenian consumers. In general people are dressed well. It is a western way of dressing, the only thing which is not western is the timing. As I told, during the day you can find people dressing like for the nightlife. This is fantastic. I do not agree with the theory that elegance is only for night. I think the person should be elegant during the whole day which is true for your country.
Are your brands presenting casual clothes and clothes for the nightlife?
We are giving all the segments of latest fashion, it is a key of our success. For example, in case of Zara, we have Zara Man, Zara Kids and Zara Woman. We have collections for every kind of age, every kind of men, women and kids and at a very right price.
By Anna Ghazaryan
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