How can commercial space design help the recovery and transformation of the hotel sector? Hotels and restaurants have been protagonists in Retail Loves Hotels, the event that explores formulas to enrich the user experience in the hospitality sector with business models from retail. The third edition of the event, organized by Retail Design Institute Spain (RDI Spain), has been held within the framework of HIP-Horeca Professional Expo 2021.
Miquel Àngel Julià Hierro, architect and Director of Strategy and Design at Grup Idea has presented and moderated the event. He has done it in conjunction with María Callís, specialist in Retail Phygital and president of RDI Spain. Miquel Àngel, also vice president of RDI Spain, has insisted on the need to adopt a transversal look at new business models, especially in hotels. “The pandemic has shown that our needs as users are not watertight niches and that sectors such as the hotel industry must coexist and hybridize with retail and other sectors.”
For her part, María Callís stressed that “all we have to do is integrate the retail point of view in the formulation of our business models, in the configuration of the value proposition and in the development of the shopping experience” . The event was attended by Marius Sala, creative partner at Knock Brand Design; Carlos Aires from Marketing Jazz and Matias Rodríguez, CEO of Studio Banana. Helena García de la Banda, lighting designer at Light & Studio and Ramón Prous, director of expansion at Lodeal Green also took part.
Transform the hotel with a design strategy focused on retail
During the day, the four key stages were introduced to transform a hotel with a strategy focused on retail. Organized in four blocks, the day has passed with the presentations of each one of the experts in their area of expertise: Retailing Hotels, Talking hotels, Feeling Hotels and Green Hotels. In the first place, the hybridization of spaces between different sectors has been debated, a reality in corporate offices, retail, hotels and social-health spaces that was already the central theme in the digital edition of the Interihotel fair on hotel interior design. Specifically, in Retailing Hotels, the integration of commercial spaces in hotels has been dealt with. In the second block, the need to generate experiences from branding and storytelling to generate a competitive advantage in the sector has been explored. A good example of a disruptive and memorable experience is the JOE Hotel in Tokyo, which explores a new concept of hospitality with a retail space with fashion items in an unstaffed self-purchase service.
The search for comfort and greater digital integration
According to experts, to achieve success it is also important to take into account aspects such as visual merchandising, that is, communicating with objects and spaces as well as making use of light as an emotional catalyst. In other words, the hotel must be able to communicate and generate sensations through all possible channels. In addition to emotional comfort, the importance of adopting sustainability and circular economy criteria in the design, construction and exploitation of spaces and the use of local resources has also been highlighted. Another of the points discussed to improve the customer experience has been to enhance the phygital experience, that is, the integration of online and offline services of the brands. In this sense, Grup Idea, together with the digital agency Interfície, offers companies the possibility of working on the same design concept in their digital space and in their physical space with the possibility of reducing the development time of the project by 25%. project and 15% costs.
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