Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens - exterior - EDITED

Accor has unveiled its vision for the Mercure brand, with the aim of expanding its offering to 1,000 Mercure hotels in the next five years.

Reacting to the change in guest expectations in the midscale hotel market, Accor says Mercure’s new positioning will introduce a new approach to welcoming guests, a redesign of food and beverage services, and create a dedicated offering for business customers on the move, whilst continuing the brands commitment to quality and further hotel refurbishments.

“Mercure is essential for the group’s expansion, which has been particularly driven through franchises and managed hotels, with the brand now preparing to start a new chapter in its history,” says Accor’s CEO, Yann Caillère.

“Thanks to the work carried out in partnership with our franchisees, Mercure is increasing its attraction for hoteliers and guests alike by injecting new impetus, modernity and innovation into midscale hotels.”

According to Accor, the new positioning for Mercure, which features 700 hotels worldwide including 40 in Australia, focuses on four main areas:
-A new, modernised experience to meet guest expectations;
-Accelerated expansion, mostly through franchises, with a target of 1,000 hotels within five years;
-A global quality guarantee; and
-A brand new visual identity

“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,” says Christophe Alaux, Chief Operating Officer Mercure and MGallery Europe.

“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.”

Mercure is enjoying sustained expansion with an average of one opening per week and over 15,000 new rooms between 2011 and 2012,and 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 Mercure’s leadership 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.