The new Zara store will open on the top floor of the Canberra Centre.

The new Zara store will open on the top floor of the Canberra Centre. Photo: Eugene Flores

Santa Claus is coming to town and so is Zara. Amidst the Christmas retail rush this week the fashionably famous Spaniard snuck into Civic.

Signage advertising the first Zara boutique in the ACT has been erected on the top floor of the Canberra Centre confirming rumours the label – a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge and wife of British Prime Minister Samantha Cameron – will set up its sixth Australian shop front in the nation’s capital.   

Zara has more than 5,000 stores in 86 countries and this year alone - a year marred by sluggish consumer behaviour and fiscal conservatism - saw a 27 per cent increase in profits.

Laura Patterson, 22, at the Opening of Zara clothes store at Bondi junction in September.

Laura Patterson, 22, at the Opening of Zara clothes store at Bondi junction in September. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

“We are very happy and excited to open our newest store in Canberra Centre. We don’t have a confirmed opening date yet,” Zara spokeswoman Miren Mendoza told Fairfax on Thursday. 

This latest development wraps up an interesting year for Australian fashion retail.

While designer labels like Chanel head west to piggy back off the mining boom, popular fashion chains like Topshop and Zara who boast modest prices and “fast fashion” by producing between six to eight seasons a year have their sights set on the fashionable men and women of the eastern seaboard.

Whispers that other affordable overseas chains, like Sweden’s H&M and Banana Republic from the US, are scouting out locations down under have intensified recently. Meanwhile Australian designers like Marnie Skillings, Bettina Liano and Fletcher Jones cited poor retail performance as a major factor for their exit from the local fashion industry this year.

Industry insiders are hoping 2013 will delivered better bottom lines for local designers and stores.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia will now be held in early April to coincide with international and national buying patterns and seasons.

Organisers are expecting more than 20,000 guests to attend the five days of the runway shows, presentations and events scheduled to take place at the Carriageworks in Sydney from April 8.