Old fashioned country wedding ideas

Old fashioned country wedding ideas

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Jun. 15, 2018, 10:32 AM

h&m 9237H&M was cluttered, but it had more savings opportunities and offered a much greater variety of styles than Zara. Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

  • H&M and Zara are two of the top names in fast fashion.
  • Zara's parent company, Inditex, reported a 7% increase in profits in 2017 and saw continued sales growth in its most recent quarter.
  • H&M, on the other hand, has struggled in recent months, with operating profit dropping 62% in the first quarter of 2018. Sales growth was flat for a second straight quarter, it reported on Friday.
  • Despite the striking difference in how each company is performing, we found on a recent visit to both stores that H&M had better deals to offer shoppers and a greater variety in the products being sold.

Zara and H&M are in fierce competition with one another to be the best in fast fashion.

But things aren't looking good for H&M. In the first quarter of 2018, operating profit at H&M decreased 62%, following another massive sales drop in the fourth quarter of 2017. Its sales growth was flat for a second straight quarter, it reported on Friday. Business Insider's Mary Hanbury wrote in April that analysts believe H&M has a brand issue — it's not the cheapest store, and its clothes are not the best quality nor the most fashionable.

It's also facing the fact that it simply has too much clothing in stock. H&M currently has over billion worth of unsold clothing, and it's rolling out some big technological changes to better streamline its supply chain.

Zara, on the other hand, has been successful in part because it has found a way to avoid the inventory issue. Brand strategist Martin Roll wrote in March that Zara limits how much of each product is made, controlling inventory and creating artificial scarcity that drives up sales, in addition to offering more fashionable clothing. At the end of the 2017 fiscal year, profits at Zara parent company Inditex were up 7%. It reported continued sales growth on Wednesday.

To see which store was better to shop at, we visited neighboring Zara and H&M stores in Jersey City, New Jersey. Here's what we found:

1/

H&M was my first stop.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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4/

There were jeans placed by the front of the store as well. H&M was certainly cheap, selling a lot of basics like jeans, t-shirts, and sweaters at low prices.

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6/

The inventory problems really started to show here. The sale racks were completely cluttered and messy, and the products that were on sale felt totally random. There were jeans, dresses, tank tops, sweaters, scarves, and shorts. The aisles were narrow, and there was just too much going on at once.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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7/

The rest of the store was much neater than the sale racks, but it didn't seem to be organized in a clear way. There were nice blouses, sweatshirts, jeans, and pantsuits all displayed in the same spot.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

8/

Clothes for every season and occasion were next to each other.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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9/

It definitely embodied the idea of a "treasure hunt" experience, but if you were looking for something specific, it would be tricky to find it.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

10/

H&M also sold hats ...

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11/

... shoes ...

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12/

... and beauty products. Near the register, there were also face masks, perfume, scrunchies, socks, and other random small products.

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14/

The men's section was also upstairs, and there was a pretty long line at the register. It didn't have as much as the women's department did, but what it did have was better organized.

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15/

Though the store was a mess, and the quality of the products varied, I found that in general, the store had a lot of great deals to offer if you were willing to look for them, and there was something for everyone style-wise.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

16/

I went to Zara next. It was directly across from the top level of H&M.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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19/

The styles were very hit or miss at Zara, too. It was generally higher quality than H&M, but the prices reflected that — it was more expensive, too.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

20/

Basic blue jeans that were at H&M were at Zara. However, basic t-shirts were similarly priced at the two stores.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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23/

... and a men's section.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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