Australian first: Bendigo Bank Norwood branch pioneers branch of the future
In an Australian first, Bendigo Bank’s Norwood branch has undergone a significant transformation, rivalling the best in local and national retail spaces. As the major banks close branches across South Australia and the country, Bendigo Bank is ensuring its branch spaces have relevance in the 21st century.
This new retail space will enable the lifestyle goals of customers, the entrepreneurial goals of local businesses and the aspirations for successful communities held by the tight knit Norwood community.
Located in the heart of South Australia's bustling shopping and entertainment precinct, at 180 The Parade, Norwood, the space flips the traditional concept of a bank branch 180 degrees, allowing customers and communities access to information, experts, technology, services and products - both from the Bank and other local businesses - in ways they value.
Norwood was chosen as the location for this Australian first bank branch due to its unique and varied mix of small businesses, and its community minded residents.
Powered by leading technologies and complementing the Bank's intelligent digital platform, Bendigo Bank’s Norwood Branch will still be considered a branch but not as you know it, said the Bank’s Executive Consumer Banking, Richard Fennell.
"Our new retail space on The Parade brings together the best of leading global retail spaces. We've established this space for the long-term and we’ll constantly seek to reinvent the right ingredients for a thriving retail space of the future," Mr Fennell said.
As well as offering full banking services as part of Australia’s fifth largest retail bank, Bendigo Bank’s Norwood branch features relaxed, modern collaborative and private spaces for customers, communities and business owners to access information and technologies to grow their business, to achieve financial success as individuals or as part of a thriving community group.
Key features of the new branch include:
- The Business Connections: Supported by video conferencing to connect a network of relevant business mentors across Australia, sharing experiences about successfully running a business.
- The Retail Springboard: Will give emerging local business owners the opportunity to have a free pop-up shopfront space on a rotational basis, boosting their brand presence.
- The Community Space: Will give community groups a central space for community meetings, art exhibitions and business presentations
- The Property Journey: Will bring together local experts and specialists (e.g. council, interior design, engineers, heritage advice, etc.) to provide customers with guidance on their property journey and will commence in early 2019.
- A progressive entertaining space to host live events and seminars, both within branch opening hours and after hours.
- Digital screens to promote community events and showcase local business and branch activities
- A mural by South Australian street artist, Jack Fran, graces the adjacent alley and is visible from inside the space
- Local artists and musicians can also use the space to create their artwork in a dedicated creative space
Mr Fennell said the Bank’s new branch space in South Australia signals a new era in retail banking experiences for the future.
"This is an exciting evolution in the Bank's strategy," he said.
"What people want is to be their best. Financial independence, knowing what's going on in the communities around them, connecting with others and making a difference is at the heart of what energises and inspires people.
"One single version of a retail space no longer exists. Retail businesses are navigating this new world and need to move at speed to keep up with customer expectations. It’s those companies that respond quickly to these needs - especially convenience, experience, intelligence and personalisation – that will have long-term success.
"This is particularly important to us at Bendigo Bank, who share profits with hundreds of communities across Australia, to date returning more than $205 million to important local projects and initiatives.
"While our competitors keep closing bank branches, we know that along with an intuitive and always on digital presence, a physical banking presence remains important for communities to grow and thrive. We will continue to invest to realise the full potential of our staff and customers, their aspirations, their businesses and their communities," he said.
The Bank has engaged Public Design Group for strategic retail design consultancy services.