How interesting… The West Elm furniture store chain is launching a boutique hotel chain:
The retail chain plans to open a line of West Elm hotels, with five locations beginning to open in late 2018. The company is working with hospitality-management firm DDK on the project, according to a statement Monday.
What kind of hotel, you ask?
For West Elm, the idea is to build a lifestyle brand. The new hotels will be furnished with pieces that reflect the chain’s modern aesthetic, as well as local decor from the region. The first locations are slated for Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; and Savannah, Georgia.
As mentioned, one of the new hotels will be here in Charlotte. It’s going to be in South End, a trendy area just south of downtown Charlotte which is currently bereft of hotels. I would guess they’ll do well in that location; Kimpton has a hotel scheduled to open there as well. The Charlotte Observer has more on the new hotel:
The Charlotte hotel will include 150 rooms, a rooftop pool, meeting space, a restaurant, lounge and bar. A “community-inspired, locally sourced event” will be held at the hotel weekly, open to both local residents and hotel guests.
Opening a chain of hotels might seem like an odd move for a furniture seller. But West Elm said it’s interested in moving beyond furniture sales into a new market. The hotels will feature local design elements and cuisine, as well as locally commissioned artwork in each guest room and common areas. The furnishings and artwork will be available for guests to buy online as well.
West Elm said it was attracted to the warehouses, food trucks and local businesses in South End.
If the venture succeeds they may need to a launch an alternate version of the West Elm credit card. Or maybe they’ll just wait for the Marriott acquisition…