Furniture retailer West Elm has announced it will open a chain of boutique hotels across the US in 2018, swapping stores for snores.
Instead of expanding its retail arm – currently numbering about 100 shops – the brand will launch West Elm Hotels in five locations, beginning with Detroit and Savannah, followed by Minneapolis, Charlotte and Indianapolis.
‘Where many retail brands have put the nail in their coffins is by opening too many stores,’ West Elm’s president Jim Brett told WSJ.
West Elm is teaming up with hospitality management company DDK on the project, and will design and market the hotels itself.
Rooms will be furnished with pieces from the retailer’s collection but will be curated bespoke for each location. The brand has already mocked up various interiors in its Brooklyn warehouse: for the Savannah site, an etched copper plate found in the city’s archives forms the basis of the hotel’s wallpaper, while other outposts will feature artworks by local creatives.
West Elm has already dipped its toes into hospitality design, creating interiors for 30 SpringHill Suites by Marriott Hotels – opening towards the end of 2016. Likewise, it is adapting designs for Sheraton’s Four Points hotels using its existing collection.
Rooms at West Elm Hotels will vary by location, starting from $175 and rising to $400-plus. Guests will also be able to buy furniture and furnishings from their stay via the brand’s online store and app when they check in.
The brand is the latest in a swathe of retailers moving into hotel ventures. Earlier this month, watch and bike maker Shinola announced plans to open the Shinola Hotel in Detroit’s Midtown.
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