Department stores boosting restaurant offerings.
Luxury department store Harrods continues to add to its roster of high-end in-store restaurants as they attract increasing numbers of shoppers and boost trading revenues across all areas of the famous London-based outlet.
A raft of renowned Michelin-star chefs have recently been brought in from around the world to set up restaurants within the store including Bjorn Frantzen and Masayoshi Takayama who join the current line-up that encompasses Gordon Ramsay, Tom Kerridge and Angelo Musa.
The 26-strong portfolio of restaurants and bars is generating 44% more sales than pre-Covid-19 and transaction values are 47% up on 2019. These numbers are a result of much greater numbers of people being tempted by the food offer. Across the total customer base the conversion rate of shoppers into diners has improved markedly from 8% pre-pandemic to a current 20%. Contributing to the boost in numbers are Harrods Reward card holders, with those members now using the dining offer has jumped from 29% to 80%.
The increased engagement with the restaurants is also feeding into the retail sales that is creating a virtuous circle, according to Ashley Saxton, director of restaurants and kitchen at Harrods, who says: “Our research has found that when customers engage with our restaurants they also engage more often with the store. They spend twice as long in the building and spend twice as much money.”
The department store has also been cleverly linking the food offer with the luxury brands its showcases with an example being its Dior Café that received almost 10,000 bookings in its first four days of opening. Gen Z customers have a particularly strong appetite for such food and drink-led luxury initiatives.
Fellow luxury store Fortnum & Mason is also looking to push up its sales by placing greater emphasis on its dining experiences. It has just announced a major overhaul of the third-floor of its London flagship store that will see its menswear department replaced by a state-of-the-art Food and Drink Studio. The inspiration for the refurbishment came after the retailer began hosting supper clubs for customers.
The Studio will seek to deliver food-led experiences including tastings, live food theatre and experimentation involving chefs and culinary experts from around the world. This will sit alongside a new craft distillery and complement the store’s existing restaurants that include FIELD by Fortnum’s and 45 Jermyn St.