Fast-fashion retailer Zara has opened a 12,000 multi-level store at the prestigious address of 500 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and unlike other fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Uniqlo, it’s pushing the limits on premium prices. You wouldn’t find a $1,099 mink-leather coat at Uniqlo, nor would you find tailored menswear at H&M, but Zara, which ranks quite high in our Spain Youth Culture Study, is going for a new strategy in America.

What’s interesting is that while many high-end stores are known for top prices across the board (even in their sales area), it’s not often that you’ll find a retailer that offers stylish apparel with a quick inventory turnover ranging from $10 to $1,100 in the same space. Zara’s new tactic of taking hi-lo fashion and pricing to new levels has given other retailers something to think about.

Photo by Shamina Rivindra

Their new store on Fifth is Zara’s 6th store on Manhattan alone, and among 40 new Zara stores in the USA, including a new one that just went live in Pasadena, CA this week. The d?cor of the new, huge, flagship in Manhattan is moving away from their traditional white towards a darker, chestnut wood, moody/rock ‘n roll version that appears more upscale and in a way, blue blood.

The store offers its typical fare of men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel, but a much larger mix than it’s other NYC locations including more tailored pieces for work clothing, dressy pieces for going out, and high-end street fashion and accessories.

Overall, it’s interesting to see the various strategies that fast-fashion retailers are doing in America given the economic downturn, and how generally, such stores are not doing as badly as many other retailers. Zara’s bold moves certainly adds new character to the original thinking that fast-fashion retailers have been known for in the last few years and sets a new standard for retail in general.