Why specialty retailers are getting into the restaurant business.
We’re used to getting coffee with books and meatballs with Swedish furniture, but not so much avocado toast with wedding rings or hot chocolate with cellphones. Nevertheless, thanks to online competitors and the preferences of younger consumers, dining options are expanding among specialty retailers as they seek to create welcoming spaces where consumers will linger and they can casually foster relationships.
“Roughly 80 percent of a retailer’s total sales are coming from the store. … Retailers know they need to use their physical stores to create an inviting, engaging and differentiated customer experience to attract customers, introduce products and create an overall affinity for their brand,” said Joanne Joliet, research director at research firm Gartner. “This further supports a retailer’s online offering, as customers will leverage a retailer’s online offering for pure transactional needs once they are familiar with the products.”
Consumers are also eating out more. Per Joliet, in 1955, the restaurant industry comprised 25 percent of the family food dollar. By 2017, that figure was 48 percent.
“Many retailers are latching onto the trend for eating outside the home and inserting themselves into this trend,” Joliet added. “It meets their customers’ daily needs and is beneficial for retailers as it drives traffic to the physical store and fosters retention of that customer through that experience.”
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