Retail Merchandising in the Hotel, Resort, and Hospitality Market

Many retail merchandising best practices that drive sales in specialty retail and mass market retail are also applicable in the hotel, resort, and hospitality retail market. The principles of shopper engagement, store layout, product selection, and visual appeal have universal applicability across all retail markets.

But when it comes to retail merchandising solutions in the hotel, resort, and hospitality markets, there are some important differences compared to other retail segments. First, most sales in the hotel/resort market are impulse purchases rather than destination purchases. Second, most sales are one-time or first-time sales rather than repeat sales. And third, most purchases are discretionary in nature rather than necessities.
These distinctions from what we think of as more mainstream or day-to-day retail pose a set of unique challenges for retailers in the hotel, resort and hospitality space. Primary among the implications for these retailers is the importance of absolutely captivating the shopper who is likely to have more of a “browsing mentality” but also may be less time constrained. In many cases the retailer has one shot to convert the shopper into a customer so achieving visual merchandising excellence could not be more important.
Furthermore, facilitating a “shopping adventure” and creating an emotional connection with the shopper can be effective in appealing to this unique group of shoppers. Many resort shops attempt to do this by carrying an assortment of souvenir merchandise, but it can also be done by outfitting a store with high quality fixtures and creating store décor that shoppers associate with luxury.
Let’s look at some examples from our work in creating multiple retail shops for some of the world’s most historic and prestigious resorts. The picture below is a good example of how simple fixtures and minimalistic merchandising can be used to create a distinctly boutique feel. Notice the generous open space that is allotted between fixtures, which helps to create a more relaxed, enjoyable shopping experience.

These resort retail shops incorporated the full range of store fixtures- from cash wraps with solid surface countertops, matching back wraps, configurable wall systems, floating shelves, display platforms, and nesting tables to built-in shelving units with LED lighting, custom cabinetry, glass cases, custom graphics, décor items, and free-standing fixtures.

We utilized a broad range of materials, including solid wood, MDF, metal, and glass, as well as related décor items such as mirrors and LED lighting. Although the types of fixtures and materials varied from store to store, in order to create an atmosphere of luxury what remained constant was the need for furniture-quality craftsmanship and uncompromising attention to detail.

Mindful of the objective of maximizing impulse sales, we attempted to create unique fixtures that were visually appealing in order to pique the interest of the shopper. We tried to ensure that every fixture was easy to shop and products were accessible. Store flow and smart planogramming were also important considerations. Store décor items and props were used throughout the stores to create a sense of authenticity and charm.

We used a wide range of finishes, including natural wood clear coated finishes, customized stain finishes, PMS-matched painted finishes, and a variety of powder coated metal finishes.

We have found that creating the right retail vibe and an environment of luxury for shoppers starts with the design and execution of individual fixtures. The locking pull-out glass case we fabricated is an example of how one fixture can contribute to creating a luxury shopping experience.

Matching finishes always help to create cohesiveness within any retail environment. We created multiple custom cabinets with finishes that matched the pull-out glass case.

Retail merchandising in the hotel, resort, and hospitality markets. See these cool retail shops at one of the world’s most historic and prestigious resorts

The hotel, resort, and hospitality market requires a unique combination of design creativity, fabrication expertise, merchandising acumen, and execution reliability. Despite the challenges, being a part of creating these retail environments is highly rewarding.

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