Hotel Peephole Cover Sales Skyrocket Following Erin Andrews Trial
Peephole cover sales are surging in the wake of the recent verdict in Erin Andrews' trial against the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University and her stalker, Michael David Barrett.
The jury awarded the well-known sportscaster and television personality $55 million in damages stemming from a September 2008 incident at the hotel in which Barrett filmed her undressing through a peephole.
On Thursday, three days after ther verdict was handed down, Safemark Systems announced a 70 percent boost in sales of its SPEYEGUARD Stationary Peephole Covers in the past month.
"We want to prevent guests from being violated and hotels from costly lawsuits," Safemark's vice president of sales John Foley said in a statement.
Safemark's SPEYEGUARD peephole cover features a slide mechanism that automatically self-closes, essentially guaranteeing guests' privacy.
On Friday, SecureAview also announced that sales of its peephole cover have climbed dramatically. The company claimed sales have risen by 1,200 percent in wake of the high profile case. SecureAview inventor and co-founder Garret Warr called the device a "no-brainer for hotels" given it costs them less than $0.04 per night.
"Consumers are sending the message that they value privacy and expect hotels to take the necessary steps to ensure that there are no future violations," said Dr. Lauren Labrecque, Associate Professor of Marketing at Loyola University Chicago's Quinlan School of Business, in a statement.
The verdict in Andrews' case is significant in that the jury found the hotel's owner and operator to be 49 percent responsible for what happened, prompting the latter to refer to the verdict as a "call to action" for the industry.
Many hospitality experts agree that the verdict will lead hoteliers to at the very least review their current procedures and policies and potentially revamp their training practices.
In the meantime, it seems some hotels and consumers are seeking a quick fix in the form of peephole covers.
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