September 6, 2011, 4:13 PM

Zara launches e-commerce operations in the U.S.

The fashionable Spanish clothier offers free standard shipping and free returns.

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Global fashion retailer Zara begins selling to U.S. consumers online today at Zara.com. Owned by Inditex Group, it is the Spanish company’s first foray into e-commerce beyond Europe, where it launched online operations last year.

Inditex Group is No. 208 in Internet Retailer’s Top 300 Europe Guide.

Zara.com offers U.S. consumers free standard shipping with delivery in two to four days on all orders and free returns. Consumers that need to return or exchange an item can have it picked up at home or take it to one of Zara’s 49 retail stores in the U.S. within 30 days of purchase. Consumers near a store can also choose to pick up their online orders at a store within three to five days. 

The company says consumers visiting Zara.com can shop for men’s, women’s and children’s apparel identical to the fashions offered in stores. Zara is known as a fast-fashion retailer, meaning it translates the latest fashion runway styles and gets them into stores quickly. The company says it adds new styles every two weeks.

Zara.com sells online in 16 European countries. It had Internet Retailer-estimated online sales of 22.2 million euros ($31.1 million) in 2010. H&M, a Sweden-based fast-fashion retailer that operates stores in the U.S. and is No. 51 in the Top 300 Europe Guide, has previously announced its plans to launch e-commerce operations in the U.S. in early 2012.

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