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Furniture Chain West Elm To Open Its Own Boutique Hotels

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The West Elm name has already graced our pages as one of the finest online interior stores you need to know. Those who lack an interior design thumb don’t need worry about missing out though.

The American-based company has locked in plans to open five new boutique hotels under the new West Elm Hotels banner. The rooms will naturally feature the brand’s world renowned fit out which is sure to get interior design junkies excited.

West Elm’s foray into the hospitality industry stems from its desire to grow the brand without opening any new stores. A sure fire way to do this in recent years is by lending a name to the lucrative hospitality industry, a move which Karl Lagerfeld recently pulled off.

Given West Elm is starting in the boutique space to begin with, it will only be a mid-sized establishment boasting 100 to 250 rooms which range from US$175 – $400 a night. Locations have already been planned for the new hotels with Detroit, Minneapolis, Savannah, Charlotte, and Indianapolis, all selected due to its lower competition in the boutique hotel market.

Each hotel is also earmarked to have its own name based on the city. In a company press release, Jim Brett who is the president of West Elm said, “After twenty-six consecutive quarters of double-digit comparative growth, including our successful entry into the commercial furnishings market with west elm Workspace, we’ve created an active bond with our customers that can extend beyond home and work.”

“By adapting the framework design of each hotel to reflect the mood and identity of its host city, we will continue to engage the adventurous spirit of our customers as they follow us to our next level of hospitality.”

This integrated framework for West Elm is a strategic move which will not only see revenue coming from hotel guests, but from the fact that people will be staying in West Elm’s living catalogue. In other words, like what you see in your hotel room? Jump online and buy it for yourself from West Elm.

Looking further down the track, the company is even considering an exclusive hotel capsule collection which will be featured on its website. At the end of the day, West Elm says that it “wants to provide wholehearted hospitality through personalised attention, distinct yet thoughtful design, and a community connection through communal spaces that feature one-of-a-kind experiences”.

It’s still early days at the moment to forecast the success of these hybrid hotels. West Elm could face another challenge in that guests staying at hotels tend to want to see extravagant pieces as opposed to everyday furniture.

David Bowd who is a partner of West Elm thinks that this isn’t a non-issue.

“There is a growing desire among modern travellers to immerse themselves in the place they are visiting,” he says.

“They want a boutique experience, and expect great, reliable service that caters to their needs. Our general managers will serve as innkeepers, and west elm Hotels will focus on making real community connections for visitors and residents alike.”

West Elm Hotels is primed for a grand opening in late 2018 with more locations to be added if the formula works.



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