Hotel Brands Hope Selling Pillows and Robes Will Pick Up the Slack in Travel Recovery

Hotel Brands Hope Selling Pillows and Robes Will Pick Up the Slack in Travel Recovery

In a year of its lowest occupancy since the Great Depression, Marriott found a way into travelers’ bathrooms, beds, and closets thanks to branded products like a plush Ritz-Carlton robe, St. Regis pillows, and a Westin white tea diffuser.

In 2020, Marriott, the world’s largest hotel brand, saw sales on its Bonvoy Boutiques e-commerce platform increase 26% year over year.

“It’s kind of the ultimate expression of loyalty:” I want to take a piece of the hotel experience home with me or give it to someone else, “said Peggy Fang Roe, Marriott’s global customer experience, loyalty and novelty venture company.” It’s not just a revenue opportunity but also an opportunity to use our brand reputation on more opportunities than traveling. “

Give travelers the same experience at home

The company began researching greater potential for Bonvoy boutiques in early summer when Marriott began including retail content in its Bonvoy Traveler newsletter. The opening rates were increasing, an indication that the audience was at least curious. At the end of the summer, Fang’s loyalty team met with the retail team on a weekly basis to find out which products were selling best and what was coming. Site traffic has grown 15% since then, and gowns and fragrances lead the way with sales up 30%.

It’s a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark year for Marriott and the entire hospitality industry. While Marriott posted a profit last quarter, the company posted losses of over $ 650 million in the last two quarters, a number that bathrobe sales cannot offset. And the rooms have never been cheaper. Prices are down 33% and averaged $ 86 a night for the first week of December, according to STR, which tracks the hospitality industry.

Hotel brands that sell bed linen are not exactly a new trend: Marriott’s had been in the online trade since 1999, when it became too cumbersome for individual hotels to ship mattresses. That same year, Westin (acquired by Marriott in 2016) began selling its Heavenly Mattress brand, triggering what Roe playfully referred to as “bed wars.”

In recent times, modernization has found its way into the entire hotel industry. Last year, Marriott Bonvoy launched boutiques to bring each brand’s online presence under one roof. In the same year, The Four Seasons also launched its online platform. Hilton joined in March this year and launched Hilton at Home.

“We wanted to create a shopping experience that lived up to the personal service that our guests enjoy at our hotels and resorts,” said Dennis Chan, Director of Retail Product at Four Seasons, noting that the chain’s retail business has grown since its inception had doubled in the last year.

As with Marriott, an increase in marketing contributed to the growth of the segment. To promote the Four Seasons retail platform, which ranks its pillow collection and robes as the top selling products, the company has advertised on YouTube, in digital ads, and on its own social platforms.

E-commerce is big business right now

E-commerce is big business, especially in 2020. A recent study According to GroupM, e-commerce could reach nearly $ 10 trillion in revenue by 2027. Marriott has the benefit of a built-in loyalty audience of nearly 143 million members and is particularly successful overseas: Singles Day in China was a highlight where Marriott was operating in the top 3% of all bed retailers at Tmall and in the top 1% of all Perfume dealer.

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