HB ON THE SCENE: Wyndham, Wayfair Partner to Help Owners Meet Brand Standards

LAS VEGAS—Wyndham Hotel Group and Wayfair have partnered on a new portal designed to ease the burden of meeting brand standards. This private label platform will become available first to Howard Johnson by Wyndham franchisees on May 1.

“Through our partnership with Wayfair, we’ll be offering all of our Howard Johnson franchisees the ability to purchase all of that FF&E…on a private label site,” said Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO of Wyndham, during a media briefing at the Wyndham Hotel Group 2018 Global Conference, held here this week at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, with Niraj Shah, founder and CEO of Wayfair.

Through the portal, which both companies collaborated on for about six months, Howard Johnson franchisees will be able to purchase all brand standard elements for their guestrooms. “This is a whole new experience,” Shah said. “This corporate standards portal and the brand standards—how do we make the shopping convenient and easy? How do we link it up with what Wyndham has for a portal—that’s all custom. This is why we’re so excited about it. It’s meant to be very specific.” These new guestroom standards for Howard Johnson are part of Wyndham’s Renew design initiative, a nod to the brand’s midcentury modern beginnings.

“To the extent that we could—through technology—make the process easier for franchisees to purchase, to source and to begin the process of renovating their rooms is really, really exiting,” Ballotti said. “We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Wayfair.”

As far as product quality, Wyndham “drives the quality by the items they pick,” Wayfair’s CEO said. Every brand portal will be set to brand standards and specs. Owners will not be able to buy anything outside of the brand package.

Wyndham will roll the portal out to Wingate by Wyndham, Microtel by Wyndham and Days Inn by Wydham after the pilot period with Howard Johnson is completed. Super 8 is also on the hotel group’s radar—as is La Quinta (after the merger transaction goes through).

Another perk for owners—shipping is free.