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Zara takes on Shein with low-priced brand Lefties


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Image: Lefties


In the fast-paced world of fashion, Zara, owned by Inditex, the world’s biggest listed fast fashion company by sales, is making strategic moves to counter the growing influence of Chinese-founded rival, Shein. The Spanish company is expanding its low-priced Gen Z-focused brand, Lefties, which started life as an outlet for Zara leftovers.


The rapid growth of Shein, an online marketplace with no physical stores, has put pressure on retailers like Inditex and Sweden’s H&M. In response, Inditex has been quietly growing its budget ranges, with the expansion of Lefties being a key part of that strategy. Lefties, which sells jeans for as little as 17.99 euros, dresses for 7.99 euros, and handbags for 5.99 euros, now has stores in 17 countries.


Interestingly, Lefties’ growth shows that Inditex wants a foothold in the value end of the market, even as it has successfully boosted profits at Zara. In Spain, where Lefties has 25 stores, it has grown from around 3.5 million customers in 2019 to 5 million customers in 2023, putting it just behind Shein with 5.2 million.


On social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, Lefties employs similar strategies to Shein, featuring micro-influencers in most of its posts. This is in contrast with the high fashion aesthetic of Zara’s social media marketing.


In conclusion, the expansion of Lefties is a strategic move by Inditex to counter the growing influence of Shein and to serve shoppers who may be less willing to splash out at Zara. But the question remains: Will this strategy be enough to compete with Shein’s rock-bottom prices and online marketplace model? What are your thoughts on this?



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