polo shirts cheap Come for the Shopping
When the fashion designer Todd Snyder designed his flagship store along East 26th Street in New York, instead of planning it around his smart collections, he made the centerpiece a tapas bar and restaurant known as the El Rey Annex, which opened after Labor Day.
The decision makes business sense. In addition to making fast money on coffee or cake, restaurants are playing a more visible role in stores as they look to make shopping fun and homey. Even Barnes Noble has been investing in new Barnes Noble Kitchens as the company opens concept stores to help stem falling sales with dishes like avocado toast, kale salad and plancha cooked salmon.
“I wanted to make it easier for people to shop,” Mr. Snyder said of his new cafe. “A cafe softens the place, making it less about shopping and more about community, where you are eating food, drinking wine, hanging out with your friends. Just a store is boring and you can do this online.”
In London, new retailers along Regent Street are fighting for the shopper with food as well as fashion. Polo Ralph Lauren added a slice of sophistication in January with Ralph’s Coffee Bar, enticing customers to dine on oysters in red wine or sip champagne with afternoon tea. But in the H Arket market, which opened in August, its Nordic cafe creates a warmer feeling in the store, said Lars Axelsson, Arket’s managing director.
“Once they were a place to eat whilst or after shopping,” he said. “Now they are the destination for shoppers before they shop. In the past, the restaurants were developed to keep customers in the store longer and spend more. Now restaurants are a way to attract people into store.”
Mr. Metrick said he hoped that would be the case next year, when the renovated Saks Fifth Avenue flagship opens its version of L’Avenue, a Paris cafe known for its celebrity clientele, on the store’s eighth and ninth floors.
More healthful menus attract “millennial customers with healthier lifestyles who might not come in otherwise,” said Neva Hall, an executive vice president of Neiman Marcus. Last year, the Beverly Hills location opened a vegan cafe, Matthew Kenney NM, which serves green gazpacho and a cauliflower mezze bowl with quinoa and hemp seed tabbouleh, among other plant based dishes.
“Food makes people happy, so shoppers are in a happier mood and want to walk around the store,” said Carla Sozzani, the founder of 10 Corso Como,
the fashion, art and design store. Its cafe serves chic Italian dishes in the Milan, Shanghai and Seoul locations. The first United States outpost is expected to open next year at the South Street Seaport in New York.
“Some people come to the restaurant and see an exhibition and might not enter the store,” Ms. Sozzani said. “Others go to the shop and not the gallery or just want a book. But everyone stops at the cafe as everyone loves food.”
For the fashion designer Domenico Vacca, having a ground floor cafe serving carpaccio, panini and espresso in the center of his West 55th Street store in Manhattan slows the pace of shopping as people relax. “The seats are in areas where we wouldn’t have had a display because we can’t make a store so crowded,” he said.
“The clothes might look expensive and be by unfamiliar designers,” he added, “but shoppers can still have a coffee, which is familiar and allows people to feel they can discover our clothes easily, especially young people who might buy in the future.”
Some store restaurants have become destinations themselves. “We want people to go through the ground floor to the top floor so people stop at other places,” said Daniella Vitale, the chief executive of Barneys, where Freds restaurants are situated on the top floor in the New York, Beverly Hills and Chicago locations. .
Restaurants have helped to create new shopping rituals. At Chanel Ginza in Tokyo, shoppers can browse before dining at Beige Alain Ducasse. The items they select from the boutique will be ready for trying or buying when they are finished “so they are not kept waiting,” said Richard Collasse, president of Chanel Japan and the joint venture with the restaurant. The locally sourced, Michelin starred menu attracts people from as far as Hong Kong and China who might not have visited the store otherwise.
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At the Maison Assouline bookstore in London, diners at its 32 seat Swans Bar receive a book catalog with the menu. Choose a book during the meal and it will be wrapped by the finish.
Although retailers are creating more in store experiences, including salons, brow bars, fitness studios and virtual reality water slides to attract shoppers, restaurants retain their edge, said Ms. Hall of Neiman Marcus, adding: “They are more social and hit more generations and men as well as women. People share memories of eating in restaurants, but they don’t share memories of a salon.”
And stores are bound to add more places to eat. As Chanel’s Mr. Collasse said, “Whilst a screen will deliver products, ultimately people will still want to try things on, feel the fabric and experience a service which is unique to the shop, and there is no better way to bring people into shop than food.”