The “Shop in a Hotel” concept highlights the premium Coco-Mat sleep products you chose and offers your guests the opportunity to have a unique sleep experience at home as well.
Below you can read an interview with Mr K. Alexopoulos, manager of the 31 Doors Hotel in Alexandroupoli Greece, regarding “Shop in a Hotel”, this exciting, new business venture.
Interview with: Alexopoulos Konstantinos, Manager/31 Doors Hotel
COCO-MAT: Dear Mr Alexopoulos good evening and thank you for speaking with us about your new venture besides hospitality, namely, for explaining to us why a Shop in a Hotel is a special service offered to your guests as well as an interesting business venture. Let’s start with 31 DOORS, your new hotel in Alexandroupoli.
31 Doors: Our hotel, 31 Doors, has been in operation since June 1st, 2019 (precisely 2 years) and it is located at the centre of Alexandroupoli. The owner’s idea was to create a 12month Upgrade Boutique City Hotel, where simplicity and comfort blends with technology and luxury. The bulk of our guests from October to May are business travelers and from June to September, local and foreign tourists. The building itself is multi, it can successfully accommodate a single guest or a family of four in our premises.
COCO-MAT: What intrigued you to “turn” your hotel into a sales point?
31 Doors: What intrigued us to create a sales point for sleep products, was the absence of a local Coco-Mat store. Since our rooms had been equipped with Coco-Mat products we saw this as an opportunity.
COCO-MAT: Do you need to reserve space and keep a stock of products?
31 Doors: An important aspect of this project was that we didn’t need to allocate much space (redesigning of the reception), only 3 rooms at reception level, which remain functional and available for use when needed. Also our stock of products is specific, manageable and not bulky.
COCO-MAT: Besides sleep products, do you offer other products for sale?
31 Doors: Besides sleep products we also offer the Zealots cosmetics line, following the same philosophy regarding allocated space and stock.
COCO-MAT: Wouldn’t a restaurant be more helpful? Why did you choose to have a store instead?
31 Doors: The choice to create a Shop in a Hotel is currently an ideal investment option both cost and risk wise, since any investment in facilities (bar, restaurant, roof garden) in the era of Covid-19 would be costly and high-risk.
COCO-MAT: Is your staff cooperating or do they consider it an extra chore?
31 Doors: It is true that we were apprehensive about how the staff would respond to the venture, but in fact they embraced it and showed interest, zeal and a positive attitude.
COCO-MAT: Did you have to train your front desk staff to be able to handle sales?
31 Doors: Selling a room (service) is very different from selling a product and it did require training from sales experts. Because you don’t simply have to know everything about your product, you must also be able to support its philosophy.
COCO-MAT: Does a brand name help in sales, or it makes no difference since the customer has already tried it?
31 Doors: The brand name is very important, it acts as a trojan horse in sales, but the fact that the products are immediately available for use in the customer’s room at no extra cost, is vital and it does help greatly.
COCO-MAT: What would be your advice to others who might consider a similar venture? What should they look out for?
31 Doors: My advice is that this is a low-cost, low-risk option. Of course, one must make sure both parts (hotel and sales point) operate properly and clear rules are set, so as to avoid any role mix up that might create problems. After all we can’t forget that our main revenue comes from the Hotel and the Shop must be treated as any other in-house facility.
COCO-MAT: What are your guests most interested in buying? Pillows, bathrobes, top mattresses, mattresses?
31 Doors: Our best sellers are pillows, duvets, slippers and cosmetics (shampoo etc.) mainly because they are low cost and easy to carry. Nevertheless, I would say that top mattresses and mattresses are on equally high demand.
COCO-MAT: Do you sell more products to repeat guests or not?
31 Doors: There are two kinds of sales; to our hotel guests, either repeat or first-time ones, who have used the products and this makes the sale much easier for us, and to walk-in customers who come to buy the products and they require a different approach.
COCO-MAT: How do you communicate to the customers that there is a shop where they can buy the products (check-in, in-room signage, relevant printed material)?
31 Doors: Upon entering, our specially designed reception area provides the first impression that there is something different in our hotel. Further, we have relevant printed material at the reception area, we communicate it during check-in, there is special signage in the rooms, as well as a sign on our façade.
COCO-MAT: Thank you very much for your insights. We wish you a great season.
For more information, please contact your local sales representative here.