Shrinkage is an aspect of business that affects many sectors; from manufacturing to retail and from professional services to hospitality, executives and managers must learn to accept that a certain level of loss will be caused by certain factors such as errors, fraud, accident, and theft.
In the hotel sector, shrinkage is almost synonymous with guests taking comfort items from their rooms; most of the time, the items that end up being stolen are towels. This issue is so widespread and common in the hotel industry that it tends to become part of the routines performed by stand-up comedians.
Luxury hotel managers are the most perplexed by this phenomenon; after all, it is safe to assume that guests who pay hundreds of dollars a night are certainly not in need of replenishing their bathroom closets at home. For some reason, kleptomania sets in once guests are shown to their hotel rooms.
In a recent article published by British newspaper The Telegraph, an executive of Homegrown Hotels, a small chain of upscale inns, explained that guests will often take whatever they can, sometimes even pillows and toilet seat covers, but towels seem to be the ultimate loss leaders for the hospitality industry.
Hoteliers accept that some items are ripe for the taking: branded toiletries and stationery are almost expected to be taken since guests are bound to become traveling billboards when they display hotel logos, and these objects are also great conversation starters; in other words, these are strategic amenities.
When it comes to towel theft, however, things are different. In 2013, a poll conducted by Telegraph Travel Research indicated that 68 percent of British hotel guests confessed to partaking in towel theft, followed by batteries from remote controls and clock radios.
In 2010, hospitality industry leaders were shocked to learn that a Nigerian judge sentenced a woman to three months in jail for stealing towels from the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja. Unfortunately, some hoteliers moved to downgrade the quality of their linens not so much because of shrinkage concerns; they did so in an effort to reduce temptation.
Another extreme loss prevention measure was reported in 2015, when a Miami tech startup started selling tracking devices that can be sewn into linens; the company explained that their devices could be found in more than 2,000 resort properties, but they declined to name their clients.
As a wholesale supplier of fine linens, bathrobes, lounge chair covers, and towels for the hospitality industry, we believe that jail time and tracking devices are extreme measure to reduce shrinkage. When our clients purchase wholesale linens for their properties, they do so at very reasonable prices because we have a very direct line with the manufacturer. While the Globaltex USA corporate and wholesale offices are located in Miami, we operate our own manufacturing facility in Turkey, which allows us to provide very competitive prices.
A smart way to cut down on towel theft is to give guests an opportunity to purchase these branded items at a reasonable cost; most of the times, guests want to show family and friends souvenirs of their hotel stay, and this could be an opportunity to develop brand loyalty. Choose Globaltex as your trusted quality linen manufacturer, and you’ll understand why our products have been able to stand the test of time. Contact us, we’d love to hear from you.