As part of the repositioning, Accor has revealed it plans to operate 150 Pullman venues around the world by 2015-2020 and is setting a target of 500 hotels in the long term.
Currently the France-based firm operates 79 properties under the Pullman branding, including one in the UK. However the St Pancras hotel, which was previously operated as a Novotel, is expected to be joined by a Liverpool venue after Accor was given preferential bidding status for a hotel to sit within a new conference centre there.
The Liverpool property will be focused on business travelers and it is clear from Pullman's repositioning that these guests will also be the focus for all the venues in the brand.
Gregoire Champetier, global chief marketing Officer of Accor, said international, new-generation business travelers were 'more cosmopolitan, hyper-connected and mobile'. He also explained that business travelers were increasingly blurring the lines between work and private - something Pullman will have to recognise.
“Comfort and high-quality, efficient services are intrinsic aspects of upscale hospitality," he said. "To differentiate ourselves in this market, it is imperative that we offer our guests emotion.
"Every trip must be an enriching experience that enhances performance and creativity at work without losing sight of the enjoyable and social dimension of travel. We have re-thought Pullman’s positioning to respond to this fundamental trend," Champetier added.
Accor's repositioning of Pullman incorporates a number of elements:
- Increased focus on style and design - a designer has been employed to create a reception table and armchair inspired by train carriage seats. Pullman is also starting a collection of contemporary art and a fashion designer has been employed to change staff uniforms.
- Reinvented F&B - all the hotels' restaurants and bars will be re-branded with the creation of a number of new all-day concepts including Open Kitchen which 'turns cooking into a show'.
- Greater use of high-technology hotel features from the lobby to the swimming pool.
- Revamped logo - Pullman has introduced a new logo and will launch a new advertising campaign entitled 'Design Your Journey'.
Yann Caillère, the newly-appointed chief executive of Accor, said the company's repositioning of Pullman was part of Accor's new focus on luxury and upscale brands despite the operator's historic presence in midscale and economy segments.
“Upscale and luxury segments are a key element of Accor’s strategy," he revealed "Sofitel’s successful repositioning has given us strong credibility with our customers and investors in these markets.
"In 2007, we reestablished Pullman. Now, we have overhauled its identity and service offer and made it a unique brand in a highly competitive segment that will serve as a key lever to help us fulfill our ambitions in the upscale and luxury segment,” he added.