Mercure is accelerating its expansion and revamping its hotels with a global refurbishment program. The brand also plans redynamize its image by continuing to build a strong, attractive and coherent brand for its customers, teams and partners.
Accor’s spearhead brand continues to expand at a sustained pace
Mercure is the world’s third largest hotel chain* in the midscale segment and the largest in Europe where it has 500 hotels. It is the leader in France, Germany, Brazil and Australia and is expanding its network in the countries where it already operates, notably in the United Kingdom and Italy.
2011 was a record growth year for the brand which opened 80 hotels worldwide, including 63 under franchise contracts. This dynamism makes Mercure a key player in the midscale segment, which is the world hotel industry’s core market and one that appeals strongly to both investors and franchisees.
Mercure continues to expand in large cities and on average opens establishments in two new countries a year. In 2012, the brand opened its first hotels in Russia and South Korea, respectively the Mercure Arbat Moscow and Mercure Seoul Ambassador Gangnam Sodowe. In 2013, the brand will continue to expand in Eastern Europe and will also develop its network in Latin America.
Christophe Alaux, Chief Operating Officer Hotels France describes Mercure as “a truly „glocal‟ brand”, referring to the fact that it is an international network in which the style, design and services of each hotel are inspired by local cultures, “Mercure is primarily driven by a network of franchisees and managers, which makes it an ideal brand for the deployment of Accor‟s strategy”, he explains.
Indeed, close to 75% of the network is operated under franchise or management contracts and Mercure federates the hoteliers around strong brand identity hallmarks (for example, the Dédicaces room concept, the dedicated inspiration and style book, a quality contract that guarantees the uniqueness of the customer promise, etc.) and the acknowledged expertise of the Accor group (E-commerce, procurement, technical expertise, training, etc.).
An international hotel network refurbishment program “In order to maintain our average rate of more than one opening a week and our network of 725 hotels, we have created a brand strategy that will guarantee a coherent global network, even though it consists of nonstandardized hotels,” declares Frédéric Fontaine, Senior VP Global Brand Marketing Mercure.
In 2010, the brand kicked-off its global refurbishment program. Today, close to 50% of the brand’s rooms have been renovated or are in line with the brand’s new vision.
In 2012, Mercure confirms this renovation pace which ensures that 10% to 15% (10 000 bedrooms) of its establishments are refurbished each year – depending on the geographic regions – and that the renovation program will be completed within four to five years. “The renovations are based on a reinterpretation of the codes of the city in which the hotel is located. The idea is to give Mercure an image worthy of its network, to reinforce its coherence while respecting its diversity. The project has been met with great enthusiasm by the franchisees, who will benefit from the image of a strong, attractive and coherent brand,” concludes Christophe Alaux.
“Dédicaces” an innovative renovation concept in France, the brand’s largest market with 237 hotels, Mercure has launched a revolutionary renovation concept developed by the internal teams in collaboration with two French interior design firms, Studio Marc Hertrich & Nicolas Adnet and Design Studio Didier Rey.
The concept enables the renovation of Mercure hotel rooms and/or bathrooms with a 40% reduction in cost, time and noise. By capitalizing on “lean management” methods and good component management practices
in the auto industry, the rooms and bathrooms are refurbished by module.
By using an extensive combination of choices, this concept preserves the identity of each hotel in terms of atmosphere and interior decoration. A trend book provides two different design options for each of the proposed room styles (contemporary, classical and traditional). For each of the three proposed styles, designers have selected specific equipment, furniture, materials and color schemes that enable a wide range of combinations. In addition, with the innovative e-design device “configurateur Dédicaces”, previewing the rooms in 3D will be possible before any decisions are taken.
To date, 1,000 rooms have been renovated according to the “Dédicaces” concept in the following hotels:
Mercure Chambéry, Mercure Correze la Seniorie, Mercure Lyon Saxe Lafayette, Mercure Marseille Centre, Mercure Massy Gare TGV, Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel
The next establishments to be refurbished are:
Mercure Lille Centre Grand Place, Mercure Lorient, Mercure Metz Centre, Mercure Nantes Central, Mercure Nice Grimaldi, Mercure Reims Centre Cathédrale, Mercure Troyes Centre, Mercure Val de Fontenay.
Mercure will soon deploy this renovation concept in Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy, and then more widely across Europe.
Unique positioning: “The Best Hotel in Town”
Reacting to an increasingly globalized world, customers seek greater diversity in the hotel offering, but remain very demanding when it comes to quality of service. Mercure responds to this need by offering hotels with individual personalities that are rooted in their cities and regions. “Mercure hotels are run by passionate hoteliers and offer the quality guarantee of an international brand,” explains Frédéric Fontaine, adding “With choice locations in major and secondary cities, we always focus on quality and aim to be “the best hotel in town!”