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Food and Beverage Extension Opportunities for Retailers
Team Offbeat | 26 Nov

As the British high street continues to diminish, we take a look at how food and beverage extension opportunities could benefit retailers.

The current retail business model fails today’s shoppers. Gone are the days of simply popping into your local department store. Customers are looking for more from their high street brands. Consumers are now seeking more enhanced, immersive retail experiences and what better way to attract them than by offering one of the most shared social media categories – dining experiences.

Since social media revolutionised the hospitality industry, an Instagramable ‘Charcoal Latte’ or ‘Cronut Freakshake’ has become the ultimate marketing tool. Above all other topics, food and beverage makes for an accessible way to collect share-worthy moments.

Although setting up a coffee shop within a retail environment isn’t a unique idea (Costa/Waterstones), it could help to give smaller retailers a firmer hold on the high street. This said, it is important to keep the offering in-line with your brand identity. It must demonstrate shared values and be in line with and reinforce your brand ethos, creating a coherent brand image and awareness.

An example of one retailer who has successfully implemented an F&B offering is Rapha. Since turning their stores into clubhouses, the cycling retailer has seen revenue increase four times. Once a simple retail shop, Rapha has evolved to be an inspiring meeting place for cycling enthusiasts. Instore you’ll find the latest cycling products, as well as cafés, live racing and events.

Another example is high street retailer, Laura Ashley Hospitality, who have launched a series of tea rooms offering a contemporary experience in line with their distinctive British-heritage design. Each tea room is designed in the signature Laura Ashley style, suggesting the same level of service and quality as the retail stores. The luxurious tea rooms help to engage existing customers as well as build relationships with a new audience, ultimately driving instore sales.

Evidently, there is a big opportunity for retailers to step into the F&B industry. For instance, record stores could engage customers by encouraging them to sit and enjoy a coffee whilst listening to their favourite music, or book stores could encourage shoppers to relax whilst reading their latest purchase. Ultimately, an instore F&B offering could be a great way to revive your current retail business and reconnect with your customers.

By Charlotte Anderson

Opening a coffee shop or restaurant and need advice on brand or interior design? Let’s discuss your concept at or call 020 7060 3121