As internet shopping has left high streets with declining footfall and a growing number of boarded-up premises, retailers and manufacturers have looked for alternatives. Hip hotel chain Aloft (part of the Starwood group) last year signed a partnership with American interiors retailer Design Within Reach to display and sell its furniture in 20 US hotels – effectively turning the properties into furniture showrooms. Among the items for sale are Verner Panton chairs and funky Satellite chandeliers, with prices listed in catalogues in guest bedrooms. In Europe a similar deal has been struck between the fast-expanding CitizenM group and Swiss furniture company Vitra. Robin Chadha, chief marketing officer for CitizenM, says it is a natural fit: “We’re all about affordable luxury and Vitra is an iconic brand with amazing designers. Our target audiences are the same.” It’s not hard to see the appeal of such a collaboration: the hotel gets its pick of furniture from some of the world’s top designers (Vitra carries pieces from, among others, Charles Eames, Zaha Hadid and George Nelson) free of charge while Vitra gets to display its wares in “living showrooms” in big cities around the world. The guests also benefit from the chance to try out a piece of furniture before deciding to buy. Get the full story at the Financial Times