Brand Stretch: How Food Enriches the Shopping Experience
For non-food retailers, the addition of a café or restaurant boosts dwell time and can provide creative inspiration. We sum up the latest hybrid stores, Instagram-ready culinary hotspots, and concepts using food as design cues.
Besides encouraging customers to linger in a shop, the addition of a food offer directly entices experience-hungry young consumers. Global luxury food and drinks sales grew 6% in 2017 from 2016, reaching $120bn (Bain & Co, 2017).
- Instagrammable Breakfast at Tiffany’s: US jewellery brand Tiffany & Co. has opened a café in its New York flagship inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the classic 1960s movie starring Audrey Hepburn. The Blue Box Café serves classic American breakfasts and high tea. The space entices with Instagram-friendly décor, featuring leather banquettes, chairs, walls and plates all in turquoise. Located on the fourth floor, the café operates during regular store hours.
- Sweet Senses: French beauty brand L'Occitane en Provence’s latest sensory-focused flagship stores in Paris and London feature a patisserie. Overseen by French pastry chef Pierre Hermé, famous for his experimental flavour combinations, both stores sell macaroon collections referencing natural fragrance ingredients such as lavender. Each location also has a dessert bar showcasing live pastry-making demonstrations, as well as a colourful lounge area with ample seating.
For more on the power of brand extensions, see Retail’s Elastic Brands: Stretch & Diversify.
- Haute Cuisine: Italian luxury brand Gucci has opened a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Florence, Italy. Forming part of its museum experience Gucci Garden, which encompasses a store, cinema and gallery space (see blog), it’s run by noted chef Massimo Bottura. The 50-seat space features lemon green walls and algae-coloured velvet seating and serves upscale versions of regional dishes. Diners can buy the plates and cutlery used in the restaurant.
- Dual-Purpose Space: New York hybrid retailer Guild – homeware store, florist and café – provides guests with a post-meal card that lists the dishware and utensils they’ve used and their location in the store. The space has an upscale urban bohemian look thanks to muted grey and blue tones, antique furniture and rustic-chic flower arrangements – see also The Floristry Connection.
Modern Food Mall
- Design Food Market: Berlin shopping mall Bikini Berlin, which targets millennials, has opened an in-mall dining hotspot called Kantini. The mix of 13 international eateries includes Hawaiian poke bowl specialist Sons of Mana and Cape Town-based patisserie Talking Beans. The space has an easy-going upbeat vibe, inspired by Californian art and design. Food stalls are painted in muted bright colours, with neon signage and sleek tiles, while the seating area consists of felt-lined benches and Scandi-style wooden dining tables.
See also Modern Malls.
Supermarket & Bistro Inspiration
- Beauty Supermarket: Korean beauty brand Espoir has opened a self-service concept store in Seoul inspired by supermarkets. Make-Up Market’s colourful interiors feature shipping container surfaces as shelves, ‘fresh produce’ counters that double as fixtures, and refrigerators displaying products. Customers can test items in a ‘tasting zone’. A previous Espoir concept sold products in a British pub-style setting, with foundations available ‘on tap’.
To begin navigating the store, consumers check in with smartphones. The tech-powered space detects products that consumers pick up and takes payment automatically as they leave. See also Asia’s Digital Enhanced Beauty Stores.
- Italian Bistro: To celebrate Chinese New Year (see blog), Italian fashion brand Prada created pop-up bar-themed installations for luxury department stores in major Asian cities in early 2018. Designed as traditional but luxurious Italian cafés, the Prada Spirit retail spaces featured red velvet chairs and small black tables. At all locations, Chinese New Year-themed products were displayed in cases at a central square bar with black wooden stools.