A two-year-old trattoria - "Stella 34" - in the original Macy‘s on New York's Herald Square, is testimony to how even venerable retailers are adding restaurants to their mix, with excellent results. The idea is spreading to many interesting new corners. According to Stores magazine, designers like Ralph Lauren and Armani have opened restaurants and cafes at their locations. The aesthetic of these eateries blends seamlessly with their designer origins.
The latest to capitalize on this trend: Spain’s famous ‘El Corte Ingles’. Michelin-starred chefs David Munoz, Jordi Roca and Roberto Ruiz have opened eateries in the El Corte Ingles outlet on Madrid’s upscale Serrano Street. The partnership aims to take “food courts a step further,” said Munoz. Bloomberg Businessweek tells us that the three chefs have split the seventh-floor food court, which has access to an open-roof terrace. The idea of joining department store and high-end cuisine aims “to attract people and be innovative,” Guillermo Arcenegui, El Corte Ingles’s head of hospitality, told Businessweek. After introducing cafés in a couple of their stores, Urban Outfitters found that visits to their café doubled the amount of time people spent in the store. For a similar reason, J.C. Penney (JCP) now offers food and drinks to customers while they shop. The trend is even spreading to New Delhi, where luxury lifestyle retailer Goodearth opened its new flagship store in Bengaluru this year. It will also house a restaurant serving fresh and organic food. Like Goodearth, a host of other premium retailers are setting the table as they look for ways to attract customers to their brick-and-mortar locations and to give their customers a holistic shopping - and grazing - experience. This not only becomes an additional source of revenue for these businesses, but also has a spill-over effect on the core business when diners end up shopping as well. The ability to meet this new trend of mixed retail and hospitality makes an efficient end-to-end supply chain more important than ever. Having disparate systems for each side of the business can be tricky especially if the store is not equipped with a reliable and complete IT system tailored for this purpose. Running many IT solutions reduces profitability because of inconsistencies as well as producing unreliable financial data. As a result, the business can experience incorrect stock levels and loss of sales because of stock-outs, wrong prices and having to employ multiple staff for multiple systems. Furthermore, management does not have full control of the business and is forced to spend time on manual work and duplicate processes instead of selling more and growing the business. This scenario, with a complex software setup, can make it difficult for the business to increase revenue through the use of new technology such as mobile POS, e-Commerce and loyalty systems. LS Retail provides a comprehensive, single-solution, that is flexible and out-of-the-box, for front and back operations in the store. It provides POS capabilities, as well as Financial, Inventory, Procurement, Central Restaurant Management, Mobile Point of Sale, Loss Prevention, Loyalty, Kitchen Display and Enterprise Resource Planning, and many more. It’s all about getting just the right mix of living, working, shopping and entertainment to create excellent experiences for today’s customers. See our product page for much more on these software solutions for today, and tomorrow. Plus all you retail and hospitality professionals can experience many of the innovative LS Retail solutions and meet with experts in the field at conneXion, our annual major-league conference and expo.