- Abercrombie & Fitch and hotelier sbe on Wednesday announced a partnership that will entail co-branded events and pop-up shops at selected properties. By the end of the year, sbe will be running 25 hotels and more than 170 culinary, nightlife and entertainment venues globally, according to a press release from the companies.
- Members of the apparel retailer’s loyalty program, A&F Club, will be privy to special benefits across sbe's hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, and sbe hotel guests, in turn, will get exclusive A&F offers, the companies said.
- The partnership’s first event, A&F's "Do it in Denim," took place on Tuesday at the Mondrian Los Angeles, where attendees could check out the brand's new denim collection, according to the release.
The emerging affinity between retail and the travel and tourism industry, responsible globally for $2.3 trillion and 109 million jobs worldwide, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Economic and Issues, continues apace.
Retail at hotels is nothing new, but there are now several tie-ups between the two industries that go well beyond traditional enterprises like the lobby gift shop or coffee stand. The most prominent and established is West Elm, which in 2016 began to develop a series of branded hotels to be located in Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Savannah, Georgia, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Portland, Maine, among other places. The company’s hotel rooms and common areas incorporate design elements from their local communities, and guests are able to purchase furnishings and artwork found in any room online. RH, Japanese retailer Muji and brands Parachute and Shinola have all also opened hotels or contemplated doing so.
It's a way to introduce products and branding to new audiences. For both sbe and Abercrombie, their effort presents an opportunity to market to swaths of new customers and to deliver fresh experiences and special access to shopping and events, according to statements from sbe founder-CEO Sam Nazarian and Abercrombie & Fitch Brand President Stacia Andersen.
"With its global presence, its dedication to its guests, and its strong track record of creating immersive experiences, sbe is a great fit for our brand and together, we look forward to creating authentic, innovative events for our customers," Andersen said.