The convergence of retailers & eateries: A tasteful partnership?

Corporate Partner, Phil Hails-Smith comments for Retail Gazette looking at the trend of retailers partnering with restaurant suppliers to enhance the in-store customer experience.

With the aim of persuading customers to spend more time in store, retailers are partnering up with restaurant suppliers to open to in-store cafes and eateries so as to widen their offering and enhance customer experience. But is this a viable partnership?

There’s no secret that the number of retailers launching restaurants. cafes or eateries in-store is becoming more common. It’s seen as a viable way to extend a retailer’s brand and provide another revenue stream for the business.

Shoppers who visited Debenhams stores from September this year may have come across fish and chip restaurant Harry Ramsdens, while shoppers at Next can sit down to a cup of coffee at an in-store Costa or at Bear cafes when shopping at Jack Wills.

Last month, Swedish clothing giant H&M launched its first hyper-local flagship in Berlin which included a cafe with a garden, and closer to home, Primark included a Disney-themed café, plus a Primarket Café in its massive new flagship in Birmingham.

While department stores and book shops such as Waterstones popularised the in-store cafe or eatery, it is increasingly common for many retailers to include a convenient café concession for their shoppers within their large stores.

It’s arguable that in-store restaurants or cafes may just be the key to defying the mounting bad news for brick-and-mortar retail. Phil Hails-Smith, corporate and commercial partner at law firm Joelson, said that when executed correctly, these partnerships can be “a win-win” for both retailers and food businesses, providing greater exposure, increasing footfall and generating higher revenue.

“However, retailers and restaurants venturing into partnerships must ensure they are making solid business choices and are compatible in terms of goals and business values to avoid any unfortunate clashes,” he told Retail Gazette.

He also said it was advisable retailers collaborate with a hospitality company that offered a different set of strengths and a different client base.

Read the full article at Retail Gazette.