Marriott announced this morning that they were rolling out towels and bath mats in all of their US hotels that were made in the USA from cotton completely grown in the USA. Quoting from the press release:
In a first for the U.S. hospitality industry, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) announced today that it will provide “Made in USA” towels and bath mats in every guest bathroom in nearly 3,000 U.S. hotels. Buying “Made in USA” towels and bath mats benefits U.S. manufacturing communities such as Thomaston, Ga., and Union, S.C., where manufacturing company Standard Textile is producing them with 100 percent cotton fiber grown in the U.S.
Marriott’s commitment to buy “Made in USA” guestroom terry products creates 150 new jobs in Standard Textile’s facilities in Thomaston and Union, as well as at the company’s Cincinnati headquarters and through its supply chain.
As someone who spent a considerable period of time working in the hotel industry, I found this announcement interesting given that a large percentage of linens come from outside the US. It’s great to see the jobs this creates in the US but it did lead to ask this question:
Would you pay more for a hotel room if it meant you were supporting American jobs?
To be clear, I don’t think this switch to US-made towels results in a direct price increase to the customer. I think it’s entirely possible that the move doesn’t actually cost materially more for the hotels. Standard Textile might spread the increase across other items it sells Marriott. And, given how big Marriott actually is, Standard may just have swallowed any extra cost associated with this.
But, I do think it’s an interesting question. If Marriott continued to source other products specifically from US vendors, I don’t think they could pass that cost onto the consumer. So much of hotel rates are driven by price, through corporate contracts and OTAs like Expedia. Even a few dollars difference in rate against a hotel’s competitors can result in lost business.
I like the move by Marriott. I don’t think it starts a wave of hotel chains looking to roll out larger efforts here. But, as with many things, it’s the thought that counts.
Would you pay more to support a hotel that bought “Made in the USA” products?
The post Would You Pay More To Stay At A Hotel That’s “Made In The USA” was published first on Pizza In Motion.