There was a time when the only items you could take home from your hotel stay were branded slippers and bathrobes, miniature toiletries and maybe something from the minibar. Items that were quickly forgotten about as soon as the suntans faded. But now, many hotel brands are enhancing the overall shopping experience by making their rooms bona fide retail spaces where guests can shop the in-room amenities and design around them.
Some hotel brands such as Marriott International have been offering their specially designed bed frames, mattresses, pillows and linens to guests for sale so that they can recreate their hotel sleep at home. “Hotels are doing everything they can to increase awareness and appeal of their online stores and grow sales of their branded merchandise,” Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and founder of the Atmosphere Research Group. told the New York Times. It’s a move echoed in many new hotel openings around the world as brands find obvious synergies between hospitality and retail.
Detroit-based luxury goods manufacturer Shinola expanded the brand to hospitality with the launch of its first hotel last year. Each of its guestrooms feature Shinola goods such as luxury desk clocks, bluetooth speakers, candles, alpaca throws and turntables which guests can purchase and take home with them. Some hotels such as the Hôtel Americano, a slick boutique property in New York’s Chelsea, are even branching out into fashion. In 2017 it announced a partnership with high-end, e-commerce brand Mr Porter through which items like designer clothes, accessories and grooming products can be delivered to guests’ rooms.
Brooklyn-based furniture seller West Elm expanded into the hotel business with West Elm Hotels, a series of boutique lodgings furnished with the brand’s products and design, essentially transforming the guestroom into a showroom. The idea is that if hotel guests like the design around them, they’re likely to want to bring those pieces home by purchasing them. Short-term rental company Domino is looking to apply a similar concept with its new New Orleans apartment hotel by decorating guestrooms with custom artwork and wallpaper that’s also available for purchase on the e-commerce platform Society6.
The trend is also spreading to Airbnb where hosts are also hoping to make a sale. The New York Times reports that at the McKinley Bungalow in Montauk every item within the home is available for guests to buy. And at an Airbnb retreat in Joshua Tree, the space doubles as an art gallery where guests can purchase items that have captured their imagination during their stay.
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