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The Wall Street Journal the other day had a story about why restaurants are being opened inside a variety of department stores and clothing boutiques.

Examples cited in the piece - the new Nordstrom store in Manhattan, which has several restaurants that reflect the cuisine of the company's Pacific Northwest roots … Saks Fifth Avenue Manhattan flagship, which recently "opened a Philippe Starck-designed outpost of L’Avenue, the haute Parisian eatery" … "Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar, which first offered shoppers posh nourishment in 2015 in a space next to a Polo store" … and " Tiffany & Co.’s pricey Blue Box Cafe."

The Journal points out that "this retail-restaurant surge is not confined to premium meals. The downtown streetwear emporium Kith has allotted square-footage to 'Treats,' an ice-cream-and-cereal bar with signature ice cream cones named after notables like LeBron James and rapper Action Bronson. Meanwhile, an inviting, all-day café called Rose Bakery occupies the first floor of the multi-brand boutique Dover Street Market in Murray Hill." And, this trend is playing out in other cities and stores.

The reason? Well, it actually is pretty simple. At a time when bricks-and-mortar retail is "wavering" (in the word used by the Journal), retailers are looking for experience-oriented differentiators that will bring people through the front doors. If these restaurants can get people into the store even if they're not doing any shopping, that is seen as a way of growing their stores' ecosystems in an effective way.
KC's View:
Makes sense to me … as much sense as any move to create an experience that can be aspirational and transformative for the shopper.