The Rise of the Retailer-Restaurant
By yearend, shoppers at the new Tommy Bahama flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue will be able to buy one of the brand’s signature tropical-print shirts before grabbing a drink at the Marlin Bar, next to the selling floor. Later they can head upstairs to order macadamia nut-encrusted snapper at a restaurant perched above the retailing space. Adding island-inspired dishes and $12 Chauffered Sidecar martinis to the clothing chain’s product mix isn’t a marketing gimmick or loss leader. Tommy Bahama, owned by Atlanta-based Oxford Industries, has become a model for other retailers: Its 13 combination restaurant-stores generate two and a half times the sales per square foot of the apparel chain’s 97 regular locations worldwide, Chief Executive Officer Terry Pillow says. Fellow CEOs, he says, are “fascinated first of all that we have it, and the second thing they’re fascinated about is we run it ourselves.”
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