Retail stores looking to galvanize the customer experience may want to consider adding a dining option into the store.
Retail and restaurant has become a dynamic duo with many companies jumping on the trend of including a dining option when building new stores. Nordstrom and Lululemon are just two of the latest companies to add fine dining options into flagship stores. The Nordstrom flagship in Midtown Manhattan boasts six restaurants and bars, while Lululemon’s new Chicago store includes a restaurant titled “Fuel” where guests can enjoy smoothies, burgers, and wine. Allowing customers to dine and shop in the same space is appetizing to companies hoping to extend the amount of time one spends in a store. Food may be the love language of consumers, and retailers are betting money on if there is food, the people will come. Millennials spend the most money on dining out and are often the target market for modern, high tech brick and mortar stores. Brick and Mortar department stores are also utilizing rewards programs by offering luxury experiential services, such as restaurant benefits, according to a Gartner L2 report.
In-store restaurants have appealed to more than fashion and department stores. Home furniture stores including Crate & Barrel and RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) have implemented restaurants in select locations—the former of which was so successful in its first few months that the CEO announced plans for fifteen additional restaurants to open.
The restaurants are offering something more than a simple shopping trip to consumers, but the chance for them to experience an entire event. As online shopping and e-commerce trends have cast a cloud over traditional brick and mortar shopping, in-store restaurants are hoping to provide stores a greater chance to shine.