Saturday, January 17, 2015

Salem Five Bank Now Open on Great Road

Salem Five Bank is now open at 285 Great Road, the former site of the Bedford Travelodge Motel.

I recently spoke with Scott Fisher, Vice President, Market Manager for Business Development at the Bedford Branch. According to Scott, Salem Five has been around since 1855. It's a community bank that until recently was focused on the North Shore. A few years ago the Bank decided to expand in to Middlesex County and opened branches at the Burlington Mall and in Concord. These were doing well so they thought it made sense to open another branch between these locations. They settled on Bedford. The Bank now has 29 Branches and plans to continue to open additional branches in the next few years (their newest branch is set to open soon in Needham).

The Bank offer a full range of consumer and business services. As Marketing Manager, part of Scott's job is to interact with the community including local businesses. Scott mentioned that they provide special banking benefits to employees of companies who have an account with the Salem Five.

The branch features a drive through along with heated sidewalks. There is an additional 1600 square feet of retail space available for lease in the building.
The Bedford Branch at around 2500 square feet, is a little smaller than the traditional bank branch. Salem Five recently updated it's bank designs and in doing so eliminated teller lines, giving the bank a more sleek modern appearance. According to Scott, six people currently work in the branch including an in-house financial consultant and a mortgage specialist.

The new bank features a teller pod in place of the traditional teller windows
While the Bank's soft opening was on December 11th, they spent the past few weeks getting involved in many civic organizations in and around Bedford. In addition, they recently distributed free Apple Pies to many businesses and households in Bedford. The Bank has scheduled a grand opening celebration for January 31st and February 1st. According to Scott, the theme will be a winter wonderland with the bank turning a portion of their parking lot in to an ice skating rink. The bank plans to have ice skates available for anyone who wants to skate along with a Hot Chocolate, Hot Cider and Cookie Bar for anyone who stops by.

The Branch includes a ' Take Five Lounge'  with a television along with free coffee and tea.
The bank seems to be focused on being consumer facing. Besides being open seven days most weeks, Salem Five has a policy of opening 15 minutes earlier and closing 15 minutes later than their scheduled hours just in case you are running a few minutes early or late before or after work

Along with their traditional banking services, the bank has developed a interactive loyalty program featuring Dustin Pedroia designed to teach kids who open an account, about investing and saving money. Salem Five is also looking in to rolling out more mobile services such as Apple Pay.

The ideas of staying open a few extra minutes seems to be a smart one. It presents a positive customer experience to people versus business that try to rush you out before closing. For example at Stop and Shop, 30 minutes before they close, they usually announce they will be closing in 30 minutes over the loud speakers. They then proceed to repeat the announcement every five to ten minutes almost like a countdown clock.

The past few years have featured in increase in the number of banks in Bedford and surrounding areas. Landlords tend to favor banks as tenants as they almost always pay their rent on time. In Lexington, the town is considering a moratorium that would prohibit new bank branches from opening in Lexington Center. What are your thoughts on that?


Jeff said...

Since banks are still not making loans, and nobody goes into the bank anymore, just use the drive up ATM, or make deposits, transfers between accounts and banks, pay bills from your account using your computer, tablet, or phone, the question is "Why build banks anywhere, let alone on every corner in down town Small Town USA?"

Anonymous said...

Completely agree Jeff. My bank allows me to do literally everything at the ATM and online. Only reason I step inside is when I lose my ATM card!

Adam Schwartz said...

Hi Jeff,

It's surprising to me but a lot of people still go in to the bank. When I walk by a bank during the day, I usually see people coming in and out (not to the ATM). Seems to be a lot of people in their 30's and 40's.

Unknown said...

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