Apparel Stores Add Restaurants

The Lempert Report
November 01, 2013

If you want to make sure hungry shoppers don't leave your store, add restaurants!

If you want to make sure hungry shoppers don't leave your store, add restaurants! At least, that's the thinking behind certain high end apparel stores who are looking to cash in on dinner time. Brooks Brothers for example, is looking to open a restaurant next summer next to it's flagship store in Manhattan. According to the New York Post, the restaurant will be a steakhouse. The trend is also seen with Ralph Lauren, whose Chicago and Paris stores both have attached restaurants. And, let's not forget Tommy Bahama. This clothing line has restaurants in about a dozen stores, serving foods with a tropical twist such as ahi tuna and rum mojitos! It's a smart idea for stores looking to make the most of the modern customers time and need for efficiency and convenience. Rob Goldberg, Tommy Bahama's senior vice president of marketing told NPR, restaurants can be a terrific traffic driver, diners peruse the merchandise while waiting; shoppers might stick around for a drink. Supermarkets and other retail stores can boost sales in this way too. Think Wholefoods - a place where people go to eat as much as they go to pick up groceries, or even Ikea with their Swedish food markets. If opening a restaurant is not a realistic option, retailers can think on a smaller scale also. Supermarkets can offer samples, snacks and in store deals. The larger trend is to improve the customer experience and as we talk about often, customer experience is important if brick and mortar stores are to compete with the convenience and appeal of online shopping.