Friday, September 29, 2023

B&B Hotels conquering the United States

With nearly 700 establishments in 15 different countries, mainly in Europe, B&B Hotels holds second place in the European budget hotel market. The company, born in Brest in the 1990s, has opened more than 100 stations in 2022, more than half of which are in France, the group’s largest market. 2022 is also the year of record turnover, reaching one billion euros, an increase of more than 50% compared to 2019 (reference year before covid).

Strong ambitions

The group’s objectives remain ambitious between now and the end of the decade: B&B Hotels should reach 3,000 establishments by 2030. To achieve this, the chain intends to develop in current countries, but especially in the United States. Teams are currently working to open the first store before the end of the year. “It is a process that takes time,” explains Fabrice Collet, general director of B&B Hotels. Even more so with the current interest rate economic climate. Banks that give their agreement can reverse their decision if the rate changes.”

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Fabrice Collet, P-DG of B&B Hotels. (B&B Hotels)

Adapt to the market

The group targets the United States due to the gigantism of its market. American motels, establishments built 40 years ago, are in poor condition. “To get a decent hotel you have to pay 150 dollars (140 euros) per night. Below that, you risk security issues, bed bugs, etc. That is why there is room for what we offer,” says Fabrice Collet. B&B Hotels plans to sell its service for $100 a night with the need to adapt to American quality: larger beds, swimming pool or gym in each establishment.

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Florida like Brittany

Therefore, it will be necessary to provoke a change in the mentality of local customers for whom paying a high price is a guarantee of quality. For Fabrice Collet, “you first have to make the brand work. » Florida will be the testing ground for this, a state with strong population growth and where people travel a lot. “Florida is very similar to Brittany, where it all started for B&B. There are two main roads. We want to position ourselves on the edges of these axes so that everyone sees us and stops in our place because we are the right solution. » The development will be carried out by purchasing very deteriorated motels to renovate them. Texas will be the next step, starting in 2025, for its population expansion. B&B Hotels can count on the network of Goldman & Sachs, its main shareholder, to help it establish itself in the United States.

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New countries in Europe

The United Kingdom is also part of the channel’s target list. Until then it was not present there, as the market was dominated by two historical players, Premier Inn and Travel Lodge. The latter is going through financial difficulties and B&B can hope to position itself by opening a hotel before the end of the year. Finally, B&B Hotels opened its first establishment in Denmark last June.

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