• Accor pushes on with AccorLocal

AccorHotels has signed a deal with luggage storage firm Stasher to bolster its AccorLocal offering in Paris.

The company was continuing to pursue growth through the ‘third vertical’ which saw revenue driving through incremental services, as the group attempted to increase the frequency of its contact with its customers.

Stasher’s initial deal has seen them add six AccorLocal hotels to its network in the French capital for a three month trial period with more to follow, bringing their total number of storage points in Paris to over 50 and their total number globally to 430.

The company said: “Most hotels already offer a similar luggage storage service to guests; so for AccorLocal, the partnership with Stasher is a minimal effort ancillary service that will enable them to attract additional footfall and monetise their extra space. This is a key goal for AccorLocal, who were launched by Accor last year to generate new revenue streams for the group and to promote hospitality services in the Accor hotels to non-guests.”

Each location is assessed for security before joining the network, and every bag left is fitted with a security tag and insured for up to GBP700 or EUR800. Customers book via the Stasher website, pay online, then drop the bags off. The service costs GBP6/EUR6 for 24 hours, and GBP5/EUR5 for each additional day.

Edouard Roy, head of growth & sales, AccorLocal, said: “We are very pleased to be integrating an internationally-renowned company into the AccorLocal system. Promoting our hospitality services to non-residents remains a key objective, which is made possible by partnerships of this kind.”

Stasher said that following the trial there would be scope for Stasher to grow into AccorLocal hotels worldwide.

Stasher’s country manager for France, Jack Muchlinski, told Hotel Analyst: “The revenue we bring hotels ranges from EUR300 to over EUR1000 per month depending on their storage capacity and location.

“The service is used mostly by those passing through – one of the main objectives of AccorLocal is to bring non-guests into the hotel in order to show them what is on offer. This is also part of a wider move from Accor to diversify revenue streams and rethink the role of the hotel faced with the challenge of Airbnb.

“We are focused on perfecting our current service before looking to expand into other services but delivery remains a long-term goal. We are confident this is going to be a long-standing relationship that will be hugely beneficial for us both. These new StashPoints will ensure we’re able to help out as many tourists and locals in Paris as possible, particularly now that we have a presence nearby the airport. There are now even more places for people to drop bags and suitcases as they travel to and from Paris this summer, and as one of our most popular cities, the partnership couldn’t have come at a better time.

“AccorLocal’s international presence makes this deal even more exciting, and we look forward to seeing where it takes us.”

AccorHotels launched AccorLocal, as part of its ‘third vertical’ at the end of last year, allowing hotels to offer the services of local businesses and services, while also allowing local residents to access the hotel’s amenities.

Other services are provided through larger partnerships and include: bouquets delivered to the hotel’s reception with AccorLocal’s special bouquets in collaboration with Pampa, Bergamotte and others; yoga, pilates and relaxation classes provided by Oly Be in a room let by the hotel; quality bread delivered by Poilâne, Nespresso capsules pick-up and deposit points accessible 24/7, a pay by-the-hour car rental service with AccorLocal offered by Hertz 24/7.

Launching the project earlier in the year, Sébastien Bazin, chairman & CEO, AccorHotels, said: “For the past 50 years, millions of customers around the world have trusted AccorHotels’ hospitality expertise. When they go through the door of one of our hotels, they can be certain of finding, at any time of day, a customised service offered by more than 250,000 people who are passionate about our unique savoir-faire in the field of hospitality and service. We have now chosen to make this unparalleled wealth available to benefit community life by developing an unprecedented model, creating social connections and value for small businesses, local communities and staff members at our hotels.”

HA Perspective [by Katherine Doggrell]: No-one at Accor was available to talk to about the progress of AccorLocal, which was a shame as here at Hotel Analyst we are quite taken with the concept, in as much as you can persuade any of us cynical hacks that change is good and progress is likely.

So taken, in fact, that this cynical hack hopped onto the Eurostar to see AccorLocal at work in person at the Ibis Cambronne in Paris and there was a lovely AccorLocal rug and one of those pop-up banners proclaiming 24/7 services available at ‘votre hotel’ and it was all pretty convincing.

Trying to find a staff member to talk about what AccorLocal actually stood for was slightly challenging, although being led repeatedly to the bar did at least suggest a working knowledge of journalism. One employee shrugged (it’s the Gallic way) and made a comment about it being some new thing or other and this shrugging will be the challenge for Accor.

The budget sector, in which Ibis lies, is about value more than it is about service. Launch it as a Raffles and enthusiasm is already rolled in (whether they also want your wheely luggage is another matter). Getting staff buy-in is going to involve more than a new rug.

For all that, the lobby area was teeming with people drinking lattes, playing ping pong and yes, storing their luggage. There was no evidence that staff were preparing to take any aged relatives to the station, as per one of Bazin’s suggestions, but baby steps. Making a hotel lobby part of the community may sound a simple enough task, but visit your nearest one now and test the echo.

Share →