The Spanish retailer Zara (zara.com) recently opened two of its latest outposts in downtown Chicago, bringing some competition to the area’s other affordable fashion retailers. The first of the two stores, which opened at 700 North Michigan Avenue (312-750-0780) in late October, has taken over the former Talbots space in the Chicago Place Building. With 17,500-square-feet on three floors, the store is now the chain’s largest location in the United States. That’s not all: Zara also opened in Block 37 at 108 North State Street (312-368-6178), just a short jog from the Mag Mile shop, in December. (The new outposts were not the first in the Chicago area; Zara’s first store in the Midwest opened at the Westfield Old Orchard mall in fall 2008.) Owned by the Inditex Group, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, Zara currently has 49 stores across the United States and locations in 73 other countries. Despite its massive growth, the chain has maintained its just-in-time fashion strategy: Twice a week, stores receive new, limited-number shipments of runway-inspired clothing and accessories for women, men, and children. The latest styles for 2010 include a brown faux-fur vest ($79.90), a black studded chain purse ($79.90) and belt ($29.90), and a plush round collar dress ($39.90) for women; knit sweaters ($59.90) and tan sneakers with suede detailing ($79.90) for men; and brown lace-up sneakers ($39.90) and pink ballerina shoes ($24.90) for kids.
Top Sales This Week
STITCH (1723 N. Damen Ave.; 773-782-1570, stitchchicago.com) takes 10 to 50 percent off everything in the store starting January 2nd.
Affinia Chicago (166 E. Superior St.; 312-787-6000, affinia.com) offers $99 rooms for reservations made during its annual “7-Day Sale” through Sunday, January 10th. To receive discount, visit affinia.com/newyearsale or call 866-246-2203 and mention “7-Day” during the promotional period.
Elements (741 N. Wells St.; 312-642-6574, elementschicago.com) holds its only sale of the year with 30 to 70 percent off on Sunday, January 10th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Best of the Rest
- Gamma Player (2035 W. Division St.; 773-235-0755, gammaplayer.com) takes up to 50 percent off its fall 2009 and winter 2010 collections, January 7th through February 1st.
- Spend $100 or more on full-price clothing at Bellybum Boutique (4347 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-868-0944, bellybumboutique.com) and receive $25 off your purchase through Monday, January 11th. Mention “Sales Check” and receive an extra $5 off.
- Ikram (873 N. Rush St.; 312-587-1000, ikram.com) marks down all fall/winter designer merchandise by 40 percent at its semiannual sale, January 2nd through 31st.
- Take 20 to 40 percent off selected housewares, jewelry, and books from more than 400 artists at Renegade Handmade (1924 W. Division St.; 773-227-2707, renegadehandmade.com) Saturday, January 9th through Sunday, January 31st.
- Fix Boutique (1101 W. Fulton Market) holds its “Lone Soldier” promotion this month: Get 15 percent off the last item of any style.
- Enjoy wine and 25 to 60 percent off fair trade gifts at Greenheart Shop (1911 W. Division St.; 312-264-1625, greenheartshop.org) on Saturday, January 9th and Sunday, January 10th.
- Virtu (2034 N. Damen Ave.; 773-235-3790, virtuchicago.com) celebrates nine years with 10 percent off everything through January. Also, take 40 percent off the shop’s holiday collection and 20 percent off Paddywax Candles, blown glass vases by Penelope Wurr, and hand-bound photo albums from Molly West.
- In honor of the new year, Tabula Tua (1015 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-525-3500, tabulatua.com) takes 20.10 percent off all merchandise Friday, January 8th through Sunday, January 10th.
- Habit (1951 W. Division St.; 773-342-0093, habitchicago.com) kicks off its semi-annual sale with 10 to 40 percent off selected merchandise Tuesday, January 5th through Thursday, February 25th.
- Take 20 to 60 percent off men and women’s fall and winter fashions at Penelope’s (1913 W. Division St.; 773-395-2351, shoppenelopes.com) through Sunday, January 31st.
- Spa La La (2300 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-772-5252, spalalachicago.com) holds a Botox party on Sunday, January 10th from 12 to 4 p.m. Guests get a free facial before Botox treatment and free makeup application after it. The Botox treatment costs $250 per area. Call 773-772-5252 to RSVP.
- Save up to 50 percent on pashmina scarves at Kathryn Kerrigan (741 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville; 847-557-5067, kathrynkerrigan.com) this week.
- Wicker Park Inn (1329 N. Wicker Park Ave.; 773.486.2743, wickerparkinn.com), a neighborhood bed and breakfast, takes 40 percent off rooms through Monday, January 11th. For reservations, visit wickerparkinn.com or call 773-486-2743.
- His Stuff (5314 N. Clark St., 773-989-9111; 3162 N. Broadway St., 773-281-6111; hisstuffchicago.com) takes up to 60 percent off nearly everything in the store during its end of season sale throughout the month.