By Aimee Chanthadavong

News is that the long-awaited Zara will be opening a Melbourne store in early 2011 and possibly earlier than the Sydney store, according to Monash University’s Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS).

ACRS is currently in ongoing discussions with Zara to learn some of its trade secrets of its success and provide management advice on Australian market conditions.

ACRS research Sean Sands, who with fellow colleague Carla Ferraro met with Zara’s senior management to discuss its progress into the Australian market, told Retailbiz that the insight will be most advantageous.

“This is all about us learning from retail best practice and maintaining our position as a thought leader and education retailers in Australia and New Zealand about best practice strategies,” he said.

According to Sands, Inditex, the parent company of Zara, the Sydney store is due to open in Westfield Sydney during April/ May 2011 but there’s a possibility that the Melbourne location may open first.

“Melbourne is a fashion capital and store developments are moving faster than expected,” he said.

He also noted that there are expectations for more Australian stores to follow.

"The series of pilot stores at Zara's head office is a simple idea that makes perfect sense to global retailers who look to maintain consistency and deliver a truly global brand experience,” he said.

In keeping with another Zara tradition, there will not be any advertising to announce the launch of Zara in Australia.

"When you've got a great product, great location and at a great price there is no need to advertise. This is the Zara philosophy," Isabel Catoira from Inditex's communications and institutional relations corporate division said.