Sheraton growth plan includes Grand sub-brand

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T0608SHERATONHUZHOU.JPG
Premier Sheraton hotels will be positioned under the name Sheraton Grand. Pictured, the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts on Monday unveiled a five-year plan to expand the global footprint of its Sheraton upper-upscale brand by about one-third with the addition of 150 hotels.

The “Sheraton 2020” initiative also calls for an investment of $100 million in a new marketing program and the introduction of the Sheraton Grand sub-brand for higher-end hotels. Starwood hopes to have more than 100 Sheraton Grands by 2020.

Starwood is looking to boost leisure and business demand for a brand whose 4.8% increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in 2014 slightly lagged the company’s RevPAR growth as a whole.

Starwood is also looking to play a catch-up by accelerating its unit growth. A lack of growth was a factor in former CEO Frits van Paasschen stepping down from his post in February. Van Paasschen was replaced on an interim basis by longtime board member Adam Aron.

As of the end of last year, Sheraton accounted for 436 of Starwood’s 1,222 hotels worldwide, and more than 153,000 of Starwood’s 354,000 rooms.

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