Massive Zara opens in renovated Lord & Taylor building at Westfield Old Orchard Mall

The new, two-floor, 28,000 square-foot location inside the former Lord & Taylor building is now open at Westfield Old Orchard Mall in Skokie

Zara, one of Westfield Old Orchard Mall's most popular stores just moved into a brand new renovated space -- the first of several highly anticipated store openings inside the mall's newly remodeled Lord & Taylor building.

The new, 28,000 square-foot store opens Thursday, according to officials. At the same time, the mall's previous Zara location, on the north end of the mall, will close for good.

The fresh space, with floor-to-ceiling windows, white tiling and warm wooden accents, is more than double the space of the previous location, a spokesperson said, with larger women's, kid's and baby sections. It's also meant to appear more elegant, with a bright white palate as opposed to the dark brown and black floors, walls and accents that the original store, designed 16 years ago, offered to customers.

massive zara opens in renovated lord & taylor building at westfield old orchard mall

It's part of an intentional shift to a bigger, brighter store concept, the European fashion brand said.

"We opened in 2008, it was the first store in Illinois," a Zara spokesperson said, as the Old Orchard store was moving. "The business growing and the demands of the customer have always been there. So with this space, we are not only expanding but also this give us an opportunity to bring in more collections."

The "white box" style space, designed by Zara's Architecture team, takes up two floors of the new building, which will soon also welcome three other tenants -- Arhaus, Puttshack and Pottery Barn.

The new store contains more than 20 dressing rooms for women, along with additional ones for men and kids, compared to just 13 in the previous shop, which made for long lines and wait times.

In addition to the extra spots, the dressing room itself has a slew of upgraded features meant to make trying on clothing more efficient -- for customers and employees -- including motion sensor lighting for each stall and the ability to scan and track items as they come in and out, the spokesperson said.

The store also includes multiple self-check-out counters and a completely automated section dedicated to in-store pickup, the spokesperson noted.

Those who use the Zara app in the new store may find their experience to be even more personalized, the spokesperson said. Customers who use the app inside the store will have the opportunity to see where items they've favorited or left behind in a digital shopping bag are physically located on a store map.

According to the spokesperson, some of the technology integrations will debut with the opening of the new Skokie store.

"It's an important, special opening for our region," the spokesperson added. noting the needs of feedback of Skokie Zara customers helped influence the new store's direction. " We try to make our shopping experience easy and seamless and smooth."

massive zara opens in renovated lord & taylor building at westfield old orchard mall
massive zara opens in renovated lord & taylor building at westfield old orchard mall
massive zara opens in renovated lord & taylor building at westfield old orchard mall
massive zara opens in renovated lord & taylor building at westfield old orchard mall
massive zara opens in renovated lord & taylor building at westfield old orchard mall
massive zara opens in renovated lord & taylor building at westfield old orchard mall

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