Zara vs. H&M – Which should you choose

When folks observe celebrities or individuals putting on stylish- fast fashion apparel, they aspire to look and dress like them. What’s the catch? It’s affordable since fast fashion clothing is economical, more voguish, and is disposable.

Zara vs hm

But, there is a horde of fast fashion brands these days; Zara & H&M are the on-trending leading brands we have.

Both platforms may differ in many ways, such as size, design, quality, pricing offers, and shipping methods, including other things, so it’s necessary to look at these factors to find which brand fits your need. We have also compared Shein with Zara, which you might want to know.

Key points to remember-

  • The h&m group’s earnings collection in 2021 was 1.78 billion dollars, a significant increase over the previous year.
  • Zara on the other hand suffered a big loss in 2021, with net earnings of $13.8 billion, compared to 18.4 billion years.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2021, both the brand apps had significant year-over-year growth in terms of downloads, with Zara increasing by 4% and h&m increasing by 3%.

Zara VS H&M: At first glance

Zara Introduction:

Zara (called Zorba in the beginning) was established in Spain 47 years ago by Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera. It was a major clothing chain store, owned by the giant retailer group, Inditex.

Zara was the first brand to provide low-cost knock-offs of high-end clothing trends, including fast-fashion clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear, beauty, perfumes, and more.

One of the brand’s defining features is that it manages to offer approximately 24 clothing lines per year.

H&M Introduction:

Erling Persson founded H&M (Hennes and Mauritz) as a physical store in Vasteras, Sweden, 75 years ago in the year 1947.

In 1968, Persson bought Mauritz ab Widforss, a clothing store in Stockholm, expanding its offerings to include menswear and changing its name to H&M. Prior to that, the brand, originally known as Hennes, used to sell women’s clothes.

One of the brand’s defining features is that fast fashion production produces 12 to 16 collections every year.

The table below compares the significant differences between the two fast-fashion retailers.

TitleZara H&M
HeadquarterArtiexo, Cornua, Galicia, SpainStockholm
Payment GatewaysVisa, Mastercard,
American Express, Paypal, JCB, Discover, Gift Card, Apple Pay.
PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express symbol, physical gift cards, E-gift cards.
Area ServedWorldwideWorldwide
Number of locations2270 in more than 88 countries.5076 in more than 74 countries.
Store locations in the USAMore than 99More than 600
Revenue13.5 billion U.S. dollars14 billion U.S. dollars

Zara VS h&m: Quality

Customers are in a bind when shopping at these fast-fashion retailers since there are questions about whether they provide high-quality apparel. When a buyer decides to shop for a particular brand, the quality of the products comes first. Most customers wonder how Zara and h&m manage to supply a wide array of designs for such a low price.

Zara Quality

The majority of Zara’s products are made of synthetic fibers, with some natural materials like cotton, wool, silk, and cashmere thrown in for good measure. 

Despite this, they can not obtain high-quality clothing that degrades quickly after a few washes because they use the cheapest versions and processes so that they can reduce production costs and hence enhance revenues.

For several reasons, the brand does not have a high reputation when it comes to product quality. One of the reasons is the company’s fast-paced manufacturing, which results in poor working conditions and low-quality products.

For instance, Zara’s outwears does not have a very high recovery rate when the proper care guidelines are followed. It quickly wears out when it is worn and washed frequently. Fabric tearing, strings coming undone, and color fading are the common problems with Zara’s clothing.

The brand fails to receive positive feedback from retail experts and intuitive shoppers, who rate its products as Not good Enough, indicating that the products do not always represent good value for money.

Zara’s accessories, such as shoes and belts, have a poor track record regarding comfort and freedom of movement. Also, Zara’s cosmetics are suspected of including multiple chemicals that can irritate delicate skin.

Zara’s product quality, on the other hand, cannot be counted among the best in the fashion sector. However, similar to other merchants, such as H&M, they are of pretty good quality.

While the products delivered by Zara are not of good quality, it is essential to remember that it is the best option for finding on-trend alluring designs and a wide array of products at reasonable prices.

H&M Quality

The fabric used in h&m garment production is an important factor that adds to its high quality. The firm utilizes recycled cotton, polyester, nylon, wool, cashmere, and plastic in their clothes manufacturing, this mixture is regarded as a win-win situation for customers. To ensure consumer safety, throughout the product development process, the firm has strictly restricted the use of dangerous and toxic chemicals and substances. 

Comparatively, the quality of h&m products is good value for money; “you get what you pay for.” The higher the price, the higher the quality of the goods would be. 

However, you should not expect all of the clothes to be of high quality because H&M, like Zara, does not manufacture its products in-house, instead of relying on a global network of independent manufacturers that produce goods in low-cost textile factories.

Nevertheless, the quality of h&m’s products seems acceptable; clothing is able to be worn for more than one season unless it’s anything basics like shirt, sleepwear, athletic wear, and revealing shirts.

There is also a possibility that H&M clothing will shrink after a few washes, but that’s not a significant issue. Frequent ironing can be done to avoid clothing shrinkage. Aside from that, unlike Zara, a few h&m accessories, such as footwear like heels, are uncomfortable and inflexible to wear. Before ordering these items from H&M, we recommend reading through intuitive shopper reviews

Zara VS H&M: Design and Style, Price Strategy

In terms of price, Zara is significantly a way more expensive than h&m. Despite the fact that the majority of customers dislike the quality of Zara’s clothing, the company remains the world’s largest clothing shop. Because of their expertise in supplying a wide selection of high-quality designs.

Zara’s parent company, Inditex, owns a number of factories where the clothing is manufactured. The company hires low-wage labor and employs low-quality materials in order to offer things at lower prices.

Even if you have a limited budget, you can buy Zara clothes because it offers the most up-to-date fashion trends at lower and higher prices.

Zara allows you to find eye-catching stuff, such as appealing on-trend designs. What’s more, with Zara, you can put on thousand-dollar labels for a few hundred.

Every year, Zara releases over 10000 designs and more than 20 new collections for fashionistas at considerably lower prices. The retailer adds new stocks to the Zara app and all 1670 physical stores around the world twice a week to manage the diversity in design and styles.

More than 300 designers worked in the brand’s huge HQ in northern Spain, trying to figure out the next big fashion trend.

From summer parties to Christmas celebrations, Zara has designs for all occasions. The Spanish fashion retailer unveils the spring collection, which includes all of the season’s most anticipated trends.

There is enough in the new spring collection which includes corset shirts, knit boleros, lightweight quilted jackets, cut-out micro skirts, and more. Latest Valentine’s day festival collection is offering clothing at cheaper rates.

Zara also has items to help you design your holiday party wardrobes, such as sequined minis, draped metallics, multicolored fringe, as well as buttoned dresses with jewels, fringed mini dresses, draped lingerie-style dress, velvet sequin dress, and more.

Customers can now even browse a new selection of low-cost gowns and accessories that are delicate, traditional, and lingerie-inspired, as well as the most recent wedding trends. The best days to shop at Zara are Monday and Thursday because on these days new arrivals are added.

From the Zara app, we have rounded up a list of new arrivals, and shopping suggestions for men, and women, here are some examples:

Zara Designs For Women/PriceZara Designs for Men/Price
Jackets, Shackets-$20-$200Jackets-$10-$250
Dresses, Jumpsuits-$22.99-$240Shirts-$30-$70
Shirts & Blouses-$20-$130Puffers-$10-$250
Hoodies, Sweatshirts-$10-$120Sweaters-$27.90-$90
Skirts, Shorts-$10-$70Jeans-$40-$70
Co-ord sets-$17.90-$140Shorts-$20-$50
Lingerie-$12.90-$170Polo shirts-$20-$90
Jewelry, scarves, hats, socks-$9.90-$130hats, underwear, etc. $7.90-$150

The h&m shop is booming, as the brand produces substantially more designs in a shorter amount of time than Zara. By expanding its supply chain, H&M has been able to introduce 16 new collections to its app each year to meet consumer demands, as well as make the latest styles available.

H&M, albeit a touch cluttered, offers more cost-effective options and a wider choice of styles than Zara.

Zara does not include everything, whereas H&M offers everything including basics, cosmetics items, and accessories.

Zara has a high reputation because it’s easier to find what you are looking for and it’s not as congested as H&M. Meaning that, h&m has a lot to offer as compared to Zara.

The ability to produce new fashions once in two weeks enabled it to maintain its position as a leader in the provision of new trends and grow to become the world’s second-largest store.

Customers can get their hands on their favorite goods right off the runway with h&m’s see now, buy now approach.

The h&m designer team in Stockholm consists of 100 designers, which keeps up with current fashion trends, and is responsible for analyzing and translating existing and developing fashion trends into new product concepts.

Another 400 designers are kept busy developing the styles into the new h&m collection, which offers customers a combination of different designs and dresses for all events and seasons, including casual and formal.

With the support of 20 sourcing offices across the world and 900 suppliers in Asia, and Europe, h&m plans to manufacture high fashion items in limited quantities to increase its profit and reduce the risk of a loss if the product does not sell

From the H&M app, we have rounded up a list of new arrivals, and shopping suggestions for men, and women, here are some examples:

H&M Designs for women/PriceH&M Designs for men/Price
Basics-joggers, sweatshirts-$5.99-$24.99Hoodies & Sweatshirts-$12.99-$99.99
Shirts & Blouses-$12.99-$149.99Jackets & Coats-$34.99-$179.99
Cardigans & Sweatshirts-$12.99-$149Pants-$17.99-$79.99
Jackets & Coats-$24.99-$69.99T-shirts & Tanks-$5.99-$49.99
Hoodies & Sweatshirts-$9.99-$69.99Cardigans & Sweatshirts-$19.99-$74.99
Jeans-$9.99-$59.99Suits & Blazers-$12.99-$99.99
Jumpsuits & Rompers-$14.99-$79.99Activewear-$12.99-$99.99
Shoes-$12.99-$129.Sleepwear & Loungewear-$19.999-$49.99
Swimwear & Beachwear-$9.99-$49.99Basics-$5.99-$49.99
Sleepwear-$12.99-$39.99Premium Selection-$12.99-$149.99
Socks & Tight-$6.99-$17.99Extended Sizes-$5.99-$79.99
Activewear-$9.99-$99.00Care Products-$3.99-$9.99
Maternity Wear-$6.99-$59.9Knitwear-$17.99-$149.99
Plus Sizes-$5.99-$59.99Dog Clothes & Accessories-$17.99-$34.99
Care products-$3.99-$9.99
Petite Sizing-$17.99-$49.99
Premium Selection-$12.99-$299.99

Zara VS H&M: Size comparison

The size difference between the two fashion companies is usually negligible, but, in rare situations, the difference in size is as little as two inches.

Both the Zara and H&M apps have clothing in medium sizes, with Zara having size 10 and H&M offering medium sizes ranging from 14-16.

With the exception of H&M, where a size small matched to a UK/US size 10-12, we noticed that a size small corresponded to a UK/US size 8-10 when comparing the sizes of two fast-fashion labels.

We found a significant difference in garment sizes between the two retailer brands: Zara’s size 12 was certified as large in the United States, but H&M’s large size ranges between 18-20.

Zara VS H&M: offers, discounts, sales (money-saving options)

Just because you have expensive taste and have chosen two of the most expensive labels does not mean you should be wasting or losing money all of the time, despite the fact that both fast fashion shopping sites provide cost-cutting options. Zara, for example, gives 60 percent to 70 percent off on seasonal collections and a ten percent discount on the first buy.

On the other hand, H&M also gives you a 10% discount on your first order when you sign up for membership; after that, you may earn rewards for an additional 10% discount on your next purchase; and with h&m SALES, you can save up to 70% on pricing. In addition, you may buy h&m gift cards available on the app to buy products at much lesser prices.

If you adopt the following money-saving tips when shopping at Zara and H&M, you can save up to 70% discount on product pricing:

Zara Money Saving OptionsH&M money-Saving Options
Get a 10% to 25% discount on price in the 1st week.At the h&m app, find out about special offers, deals & discounts.
Prices are discounted by 40% to 50% in the 2nd week.The app offers free discount coupons to save you up to 30%.
By the 3rd week, you can enjoy a discount of up to 75%.Turn on push notifications to know about the most recent sales.
Subscribe Zara newsletter to get weekly sale updates.Stay up with H&M’s sales by signing up for their newsletter and email list.
Sale Sign-on Zara app shows apparel at reduced prices.With h&m’s loyalty program register, you can get 10% off your next purchase.
Find discounts, deals, coupon codes online to save even more money.Save $5 on your next $200 purchase with this sign-up.
Search Zara Coupon codes on websites.Also, get special offers, coupons, and discounts with this loyalty program.
Check the price tags to find dresses at lower prices.Buy in bulk from the store to receive a better deal.
Wait for the Semi-annual sale, which comes in June & December to save up to 75%.Offers 15% off with H&M’s student discount.
Browse Zara on Mondays to shop new arrivals at cheaper rates.Get a 15% off coupon by donating worn clothing at the register.
Purchase Zara basics at the most affordable rates.If you work at H&M, you can earn a 25% discount on your purchases.
Shop in the kid’s section if you’re petite.H&M’s previous seasons’ stock clothing is available at discounted prices.
To avoid shipping costs, go for store pickup.Stay up to date on special deals & sales by following H&M on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

Zara VS H&M: Shipping methods, delivery time, delivery costs

Zara and H&M both offer a number of shipping choices, each with its own set of delivery schedules and charges. You won’t have to pay to ship if you spend $50 or more at Zara. If you spend less than this, you’ll have to pay an extra $4.95 for standard delivery. Furthermore, you can spend $9.95 to get your purchase dispatched with Express delivery if you need it sooner.

Customers will be able to get their products delivered to any address—home or office. Delivery times will vary depending on your location, and if you choose to make your purchase during the Christmas season, delivery times may be longer.

Furthermore, standard delivery allows you to receive your purchase in two to four days, and express delivery enables you to receive it in one to two days.

The shipping services of H&M are inferior to that of Zara in terms of cost and delivery time. If you are an H&M member, standard delivery is $3.99 and takes 3 to 7 days. If you spend $25 as a member, you will receive free shipping; if you are not a member, you will receive free shipping if you spend $40.

AppCountryShipping CostDelivery timeFree Shipping
ZaraUSAStandard-$4.952-4 DaysOrder-$50+
Next day after your purchase(Depending address)
H&MUSAStandard-$3.993 to 7 days
For Members orders-$25+,
for non-members $40+

2-4 Business days
Expedited-$3.99 3-7 Business daysOrders-$40+
Next-day Shipping-$24.99

1-2 Business days

Zara VS H&M: Marketing Strategy

The marketing methods implemented by the retailers play a vital role in explaining why these two fast fashion brands rank among the world’s top retailers. Let’s get started:

Zara marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy of Zara is quite different from other fast fashion brands. Because of its unique marketing strategies, the company has been able to stand out among other merchants, get a high level of visibility, and gain buyer trust. Zara’s marketing strategies play an important role in its success.

Zara employs the standard marketing strategy, concentrating on products, price, location, and advertising. The product offerings contributed significantly to its rapid growth and excellent market reputation. Consequently, Zara continuously researches and recognizes new fashion trends in order to bring them to market fast and at a low cost.

Second, Zara keeps its prices low enough for even the most casual shopper to enjoy dressing in the current fast fashion trends while staying within their budget. 

Zara is constantly aiming to open new stores throughout the world as part of its promotional marketing plan, offering customers services focusing on delivering the best experience to customers with its exclusive and original fashion sense at accessible costs.

Zara does not stress a lot on the Advertising aspect of its marketing strategy, as compared to other retailers we have that believe in performing aggressive promotion throughout the year. However, it does not mean that it totally underestimates this aspect of marketing. 

The meticulous procedures of Zara, from item creation to sale, have proven to be crucial. The fact that it is a vertically integrated organization with 300 locations worldwide contributes to the effective marketing strategy of the company.

H&M Marketing Strategy

The ability of H&M to become the second-largest international store after Zara as a one-stop quick fashion shop for clothing and accessories for men and children, women, and teenagers, is a mystery to all contemporary fast-fashion businesses.

From the perspective of H&M, it was not overnight magic that turned things around for the company. Besides, the well-executed marketing strategies of the brand play a significant role in its success.

The following are the overall marketing techniques that the organization has been working on over the years:

  • Offers high-quality products and winning accessories.
  • Keeping the price tags accessible for all types of buyers,
  • The adaptation of multi-channel marketing strategy, including advertising, sales promotion, and internet marketing has played a fair role in its immense success.
  • Manages a trusting relationship between customers and the firm by opening new stores in every corner of the globe, with over 5000 stores in 73 countries.
  • The cost leadership marketing strategy of the company enables broad markets to sell items at reduced prices, allowing it to grow its market share.

Zara VS H&M: Return (Refund Policy)

If customers are unhappy with their purchases, they can use the return policies of both brands.

Zara return policy

One can make a return request by logging into your Zara account, where you placed the order. Zara allows customers to return things online and in-store up to 30 days after the product is shipped, depending on where they purchased them. Once this period is over, the return option will get disappeared from the Zara return portal. 

Also, the items that one needs to return must abide by the Zara return policies. Products that are damaged or defective will not be returned. Zara takes between 14 to 15 days to process your return and issue a refund.

Except for orders paid for cash on delivery, Zara refunds consumers using the same payment method they used to make the purchase. The Zara return team sends you an email once the return process is done, after confirmation of the return process.

There are a few items like menswear and childrenswear that Zara will not be happy returning, whereas Underwear, Swimwear can be acceptable as long as hygiene is maintained.

If you have any further questions about the return policy of Zara, you may contact the customer care of the company. Customers in the United States can phone 1-855 635 9272 Monday through Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

H&M return policy

Customers have up to 60 days after delivery to return anything as long as the tags are still attached, the product is unused, and the items are in their original packing. You can only return the items in the physical store if you bought them from the store. If you are not a member of h&m, the return label of the brand will set you back $10.95.

Certain things like pierced jewelry, gift cards, and single-use paper bags are not refundable. Further, shipping and handling charges will not be refunded. Once you return the items, H&M takes about 14 days to refund your money.

Once the return procedure is complete, you will get refunded your amount through a credit or debit card, or if you have a PayPal account, you will get refunded to the original payment method.

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