The shopper: Zalora lets you buy online from niche local brands
We love discovering independent young brands almost as much as we love the convenience of online shopping. So when fashion e-tailer Zalora (zalora.com.hk) started stocking niche Hong Kong brands on its website this month, it pretty much hit the millennial generation's dream shopping experience on the head.
The sister site to Lazada, a sort of Amazon of Asia, Zalora has been expanding rapidly in the region. It came to Hong Kong in March 2012, providing affordable overseas favourites like River Island, Shoemint (designed by actress Rachel Bilson) and American Apparel. This month it has just started taking on local brands. The website now includes young and funky Hong Kong labels including JHDE, a men's streetwear brand; G-link, a silver jewellery brand founded by Gigi Chan; Ziztar, a newly established label focusing on graphic prints; and RDM, a basic women's workwear collection.
Items on the site are wallet friendly: a Ziztar orange minority print top with fringed sides costs HK$224, while Repel's lace pointy flats in bright yellow and low-heeled boots with ankle cut-outs - a great transition piece for spring - also retail for less than HK$300.
Zalora aims to make the online ordering process as easy as possible. There's free delivery with orders of HK$150 or above and items arrive within five to seven working days. There is also an option to pay cash on delivery.
Unlike online retailers such as Asos, Zalora bears the cost of returns by SF Express courier.
Country manager for Singapore and Hong Kong, Jose Gaztelu, says they will continue to add to their list of top high-street international and key local brands, and that they're planning the launch of Zalora Marketplace, which will bring together selected fashion designers, smaller brands and boutiques together in a curated space.