Why Specialty Retailers Are Getting Into the Restaurant Business

Dining options invite consumers to come in and stay awhile


We’re used to getting coffee with books and meatballs with Swedish furniture, but not so much avocado toast with wedding rings or hot chocolate with cellphones. Nevertheless, thanks to online competitors and the preferences of younger consumers, dining options are expanding among specialty retailers as they seek to create welcoming spaces where consumers will linger and they can casually foster relationships.

“Roughly 80 percent of a retailer’s total sales are coming from the store. … Retailers know they need to use their physical stores to create an inviting, engaging and differentiated customer experience to attract customers, introduce products and create an overall affinity for their brand,” said Joanne Joliet, research director at research firm Gartner.

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This story first appeared in the October 8, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.