Retail Popping Up in Hotel Lobbies
With the ubiquitous internet and the rise of pop-up shops, retailing is becoming more democratic — anytime, anywhere. Add the rise of seasonal markets, shop-in-shops and kiosks, and you have more signs of a growing thirst for innovative product, a trend driven by the lack of creativity due to consolidation at larger stores.
The situation presents new opportunities for partnerships in independent retail, especially for high-traffic hotels. Any physical location can be transformed into a marketplace for other retailers and new brands.
Witness Brooks Brothers boutiques opening in Nordstrom stores. Independent retailers can and should follow this example. Furthermore, adding e-commerce will make this approach even more productive. E-commerce can geometrically increase sales per square foot with a single sample potentially selling hundreds of an item.
Hotels, especially independents, should jump on this trend. Warby Parker's pop in at The Standard is a prescient example of how smaller hotels can monetize traffic with the right retail pop-up shop. Experimenting with pop-ins can inexpensively define what works or doesn't.
Boutique hotels that sell style and experience can easily extend their cache to products.
I recently sat down with Tom Hayden of The Affluent Traveler, who was thinking about the rise of private label programs to sell the hotel experience. What if a hotel spa allowed you to choose between three scents for your massage and afterwards offered you the opportunity to order for home use via a simple website?
This would combine a hotel private label program with the increasing interest in customizing product to a customer's specifications. The best part is that hotel pop-up shops can be used as a tool to quickly and inexpensively test what works and what doesn't for private label programs. With the back-end e-commerce enabled, inventory control and fulfillment are seamlessly streamlined.