Banana Republic is becoming more like Zara

Banana Republic NYFW Sept 2015 spring summer 2016 showFernanda Calfat/Getty ImagesBanana Republic’s spring/summer 2016 looks at New York Fashion Week in September, 2015.

Banana Republic is shaking up its Fashion Week routines.

The struggling retailer is giving shoppers the chance to buy Fashion Week clothes as soon as they debut on the runway in New York City in February.

Typically during Fashion Week, consumers are given previews of looks that they can’t purchase for months.

By the time the merchandise hits stores, the hype around the products has died down.

Banana Republic’s team is aware that customers are less patient now, and that they want new styles quickly than ever.

“After each one of our New York Fashion Week presentations, the first question we receive from our customers is ‘When can I buy these looks?'” Lexi Tawes, Banana Republic’s senior vice president of global Merchandising, said in a statement to Business Insider.

Banana Republic will debut its fall 2016 collection at Fashion Week on February 13.

Customers will be able to purchase a select number of items from the collection online and wear them within the next few days, according to Tawes.

“It’s our way of saying thanks, we heard you,” Tawes said.

Banana Republic is trying the new strategy following several quarters of same-store sales declines.

In its most recent quarter, Banana Republic’s comparative sales were down 12%.

Banana RepublicMarina Nazario/Business InsiderInside a New York City Banana Republic store in November, 2015.

By making its runway styles available immediately, Banana Republic is giving a nod to the strategies used by fast-fashion competitors like Zara and H&M.

Both Zara and H&M are known for rapidly reproducing runway styles at an affordable price and getting them to stores within several weeks of their debut.  

Banana Republic’s foray into the fast-fashion world is a sign of how the fashion world is trying to become more accessible to consumers. 

With the rise of social media, consumers see more coverage than ever of New York Fashion Week. But most of them can’t buy the clothes they see on the runway.

“We have designers, retailers and everybody complaining about the shows. Something’s not right anymore because of social media, people are confused,” Diane von Furstenberg, chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, said to Women’s Wear Daily.

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