Accor Outlines Plans for Mercure Brand

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Accor has outlined details of its ambitious plans for the Mercure brand.

Currently with more than 700 hotels worldwide, Accor plans to accelerate expansion, mostly through franchises, with a target of 1,000 hotels within 5 years.

Yann Caillre, CEO of Accor, said, Mercure is essential for the groups expansion particularly driven through franchises and managed hotels. The brand is now opening a new page in its history. Thanks to the work carried out in partnership with our franchisees and to its powerful distribution, Mercure is increasing its attraction for hoteliers and guests alike and injecting new impetus, modernity and innovation into midscale hotels.

There are currently 732 Mercure hotels in 50 countries. The brand is enjoying sustained expansion with an average of one opening per week and over 15,000 new rooms between 2011 and 2012. Mercure alone accounted for 21% of rooms opened by Accor in 2012.

Network growth (over 75% through franchises and management contracts) is mostly achieved by converting existing hotels and focuses on reinforcing Mercures position in its key markets France (232 hotels), Germany (112 hotels) and the United Kingdom (73 hotels), expanding in Brazil (64 hotels) and Australia (63 hotels) and setting up in two new countries every year. In 2012, Mercure established footholds in Russia and South Korea. In 2013, it will launch its first establishments in Turkey and Sweden. Mercure plans to open a total of 53 new hotels in 2013.

To meet our objective of 1,000 hotels within five years, we will expand mostly through franchises. Independent hoteliers make up 70% of the midscale hotel segment. They are looking for sector expertise, particularly to handle the hotel digital revolution. Mercure places relations with franchisees at the heart of its brand governance and that makes it a benchmark franchisor, said Christophe Alaux, Chief Operating Officer Mercure & MGallery Europe.

One of Mercures strengths lies in the power of its loyalty and distribution system. Online booking represents 30% of the brands turnover.

Extensive Refurbishment

The Dedicaces renovation concept launched in 2011 in France, continues to be rolled out at a sustained pace. Thanks to this concept, the brand stepped up refurbishment in France, where 70% of the network has now been renovated. In the second half of 2013, the concept will be extended in Germany and the United Kingdom.

Service Guarantee

By end 2014, the Mercure Quality Guarantee will be deployed across the entire network.

The Mercure Quality Guarantee is based on 96 shared quality guidelines and is designed to ensure that the guest experience is consistent in all Mercure hotels.

The Mercure Quality Guarantee includes a dedicated phone line, with the same number (2424) for the entire Mercure network that customers can dial around the clock.

A new approach to hospitality that focuses on customer welcome, business on the move and F&B concepts

New Lobby Design

Mercure has worked for seven months on redesigning the lobby with design agency W&Cie.

The reception desk, which formed a barrier between the hotel staff and guests, is replaced with an approach based on friendlier, easier interaction. The receptionist is now a host who invites customers to the host table or to one of the comfortable lobby spaces and include the bar and the restaurant.

The use of digital tablets also helps to speed up the check-in process, a concept, which has been successfully implemented at the Mercure London Bridge since April and will be rolled out in five other hotels by the end of 2013.

Enthusiastic Hoteliers

The brands renewal also concerns its teams. For this purpose, Mercure has designed a human resources program with three components:

Mercure Touch: 10 differentiating customer service attitudes that allow hoteliers to interact with their guests and create a bond with them. This program will be implemented on a participatory basis from January 2014.

Mercure School of Service: an innovative, flexible e-learning training course available in 9 languages, or through the 17 Accor Academies located around the world. This system enables Mercure to ensure that each employee receives at least one weeks training a year.

Mercure Community: a corporate social network for the 45,000 employees so they can share best practices, exchange, improve their skills and ultimately progress professionally.

We are confident that the Mercures in-depth transformation will ensure that it will appeal to guests, who will enjoy a truly different midscale experience; to hoteliers, who will help us accelerate our expansion; but also to the teams, who regularly develop new skills, said Christophe Alaux, Chief Operating Officer Mercure & MGallery Europe.

Accor, Mercure

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