The Pullman Concept

2 Avenue du LAc ACC 78
91021 Evry- Cedex
Denis Sappey
Managing Director
Tuesday 9th February 2010

The Pullman Concept

The New “Upper Scale” Brand of the Accor Group Aims for “Tech Friendliness”
The Pullman brand was launched in December 2007 around the concept of defining the “right product for the international business traveller”. We met with Denys Sappey at Accor HQ near Paris, where we asked him to explain the new concept.

We wanted to create a new way of living in the hospitality business    –    the    “client experience” in the upper scale market. The Pullman concept sits in the upscale segment, right between the luxury segment which is occupied by the Sofitel brand following its repositioning, and Novotel and Mercure, which are respectively our midscale brands, in the non-standardised and standardised hotel segment. As part of a repositioning of brands within the group, we had 180 Sofitel of which around 150 were more eligible to be renovated to target the luxury segment, the Pullman story started when Accor Hospitality decided to re-invent a concept, on the upscale hospitality segment. Pullman targets the business market. Within this sector we find solo business travellers, but there is also the enterprise seminars and conventions activity, which is our priority segment. The ambition was not only to reinvent the “hard” product, but also the “soft” product – that is to say the service and marketing.

What are the clients’ reactions to this new concept?

Very encouraging and very enthusiastic. We’re right at the start, but the signals and feedback from the market are very positive. Our clients like the concept... they like the technology... the level of comfort and the service we are providing, so let’s go, rolling this out in the network in the scale we want. We’re on the right way.

Part of the concept is that of being a “tech friendly” hotel. How important is that as part of the Pullman concept?

It’s a very, very important criterion for business travellers and international visitors when they’re choosing a hospitality brand today. So we are currently investing a lot in putting this technology at the level expected by the client when it comes to getting connected to their professional and personal environments in a user-friendly way.

So the international traveller can find everything they want in terms of technological comfort?

Yes indeed! We are providing as much as we could expect our clients to ask for, even with basic equipment such as chairs, tables and screens, to make them as comfortable to use as possible.

There are so many technologies out there today that it’s impossible to buy everything and install it in the hotel. How do you select technologies? is there an internal reflection group working on this?

We listen to the market, we listen to our clients and constantly adapt our offer according to what is essential for them at this level of hospitality – the upscale segment – permanently asking them how they feel about our product and the level of equipment. The client experience is for us a key stake for the future of our brand.