As it ventures into the hotel business, the retailer fosters brand loyalty across industries

West Elm, a brand under the Williams-Sonoma umbrella, is launching its first hotel soon and the chain is reimagining ways to turn loyal shoppers into hotel guests—and vice versa. There is no confirmation yet if the loyalty program will replace or append The Key, the existing rewards program across all Williams Sonoma brands.

Unsurprisingly, the hotels will feature furniture from the West Elm brand. The links between home furnishings retailers and the hospitality business are interesting. In an interview with Bloomberg, West Elm revealed that its building and furnishing costs are 40% less than those of traditional builds.

More than just providing temporary rooms for guests, West Elm hotel rooms will also double as showrooms for the company. A press release for the hotel states that guests can easily buy the items in the rooms from the hotel website. (No sales happen at the hotel itself.) It's easy to speculate about product-specific rewards from the forthcoming hotels. For example, staying in a specific room can earn you special deals on all the furniture in that room. Currently, The Key offers a 3% Dollar Return for purchases. This can spill over to the spending on a hotel, where a five-day vacation can be a new dining set from Williams-Sonoma. West Elm VP for hospitality Peter Fowler told Bloomberg that hotel-related capsule collections will show up on the websites.

Hospitality and home retail tie-ups are rare but the potential is undeniable. After all, except for the ability to stay for a night, the furniture showroom is a lot like a well-appointed hotel room. For the loyalty program to work, it will have to unearth the hidden links in the consumer experience to maximize its impact. While it's pretty common to leave a nice hotel room wanting to take home the couch or the bed, will the nudge of specific rewards be enough to seal the deal?

Williams-Sonoma

West Elm, a brand under the Williams-Sonoma umbrella, is launching its first hotel soon and the chain is reimagining ways to turn loyal shoppers into hotel guests—and vice versa. There is no confirmation yet if the loyalty program will replace or append The Key, the existing rewards program across all Williams Sonoma brands.

Unsurprisingly, the hotels will feature furniture from the West Elm brand. The links between home furnishings retailers and the hospitality business are interesting. In an interview with Bloomberg, West Elm revealed that its building and furnishing costs are 40% less than those of traditional builds.