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Meet Zara's 20-Year-Old Discount Sister Brand, Lefties

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An $18 blouse from <a href="http://www.lefties.com">Lefties.com</a>
An $18 blouse from Lefties.com

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Zara may be fast fashion, but its higher price points have arguably kept it out of competition with similarly marketed brands like H&M and Forever 21. Feeling the heat from these lower-priced brands coupled with the lagging economy, Zara's parent company, Spanish-based retail giant Inditex, may be gearing up to launch their answer to the competition, Reuters reports. Its name is Lefties and it looks exactly like Zara except without the high street price tag. In other words, Christmas may be coming early this year.

The renovated store plan, via Lefties.com

The lower-priced line was founded in 1993 as a depository for last-season Zara merchandise, similar to an outlet store. However, the brand has since started producing its own lines of mens and womenswear and, late last year, Lefties (a name derived from "leftovers") began undergoing a rebranding effort that made it look a whole lot more like a H&M competitor and a whole lot less like a discount store built to sell overstocked goods. The makeover included redesigned stores, logos, and an upgraded website (alas, still without e-commerce).

While the brick-and-mortar stores can only be found in Spain and Portugal right now, the brand is on the rise. Over the past five years, Inditex has slowly been reducing the number of Zara stores across Spain (from 514 to 469) while continually opening new Lefties locations. While there haven't been any drastic expansions yet, it's clear to retail analysts that Zara's lower-priced sister is being groomed for a bigger market. In the meantime, here's hoping that e-commerce will roll out faster for Lefties then it did for some of its competition.

· Inditex Quietly Grooms Cut-Price Brand for Budget Battle [Reuters]
· Midriffs Are a Go in Zara's Fresh Spring Lookbook [Racked]
· China's Street of Fakes Has 'Sffcccks Coffee' 'H&N' and 'Zare' [Racked]