West Elm, the retailer known for its contemporary furniture and housewares, will be opening its own hotels in 2018. The company, along with Pottery Barn, is a wholly owned subsidiary of William-Sonoma. Founded in 2002, West Elm has seen tremendous growth over the past decade. However, instead of expanding by opening more stores, they are opening their own hotels.
Wall Street Journal reports that the company began toying with the idea 2 years ago. Jim Brett, President of West Elm, said they are hoping not to “put the nail in their own coffin…by opening too many stores.” West Elm will be furnishing, designing, and marketing their own hotels, the first of which will open in Detroit and Savannah in 2018. Charlotte, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis will also be home to future hotels. DDK Hotels, a management company, will be operating them.
This is actually not West Elm’s first exploration into the hotel industry. They created decor for 30 SpringHill Suites hotels, and FourPoints by Sheraton already uses some of their collections in furnishing their hotels.
Not surprisingly, guests will be able to purchase furniture and room decor they see at the hotels online, or via the app they can download at check-in. Fortunately, the furniture in the room will not come with a price tag. The hotels are going to be “boutique,” at around 100 – 250 rooms each. Rates are projected to be around $175, with suites a little over $400 a night, which is actually pretty inexpensive for boutique hotels.
I am personally excited for West Elm hotels. I like their contemporary yet residential design language, and there is no doubt they already have the connections to furnish their own rooms, perhaps more efficiently than other chains. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what their hotels will look like!