Retailing is constantly changing and that is part of the fun of being involved in the sector. Imagine dropping in to your local fashion store for a coffee and snack.
That is now becoming more of a trend.
In London you can enjoy a coffee or champagne in Regents Street at the Burberry all-day cafe in their Flagship store.
Gents are invited to have a gin and tonic when purchasing suits at Hackett London.
In New York you can go to Fifth Avenue and have a meal and drink at Ralph’s Coffee at the Polo flagship store.
In Shanghai the Gucci Cafe in the IAPM shopping centre and in Tokyo coffee can be taken at Bulgari, Chanel or Dunhill stores.
Why the trend?
It is all about building the experience and getting consumer to linger longer. At the Wolf and Badger store in London the company has seen a 20-30% increase in foot traffic since opening a juice bar in the store. Armani have opened 13 restaurants and cafes in their stores around the world and want to create an Armani lifestyle as part of their vision.
All retailers agree that the “food offer” may not be the highest return in the store, but it gives the consumer a reason to visit the store and then the retailer can build sales.
I have worked with clients who have argued that coffee and food is not their core business and that they should leave it to someone else.
The fashion industry is saying the opposite, it is all about the experience.