After your spot of shopping on Collins Street, why not pop into the Bank of Melbourne branch at the Paris end for a free valuation of your investment property or a quick read of the latest investment tips from Alan Kohler or Robert Gottliebsen? Or even just sit back and watch Sky Business for a while?
Just don’t expect either of these two economic gurus to be standing around answering personal investment questions when you step into the recently opened 'Investore' at the Bank of Melbourne branch at 233 Collins Street.
Despite the store beckoning you to enter with a collage poster featuring a slice of Alan Kohler's face alongside that of Robert Gottliebsen's, they won't actually be there.
They will seemingly limit their involvement in the venture to providing half of their faces to the promotional material and allowing visitors to read their investment tips for free.
It’s a rather unusual venture with a Fairfax brand, Domain, sitting alongside a News Limited one, The Eureka Report.
The Investore, as explained by an onsite Bank of Melbourne employee, is not a pop-up shop but a permanent investment lounge with computers and rows of iPads where visitors can obtain free property reports provided by Domain's Australian Property Monitors and read unlocked stories and reports on the Eureka website from Kohler, Gottliebsen and other investment writers.
It’s all part of efforts by the Bank of Melbourne to add extra value to its customers and build the brand and, one imagines, take on the likes of Bankwest, which was the first to pioneer the idea of a funky bank branch offering free coffee, the chance to buy property investment books and this writer's personal favourite, the coin counter.
Certainly, Bank of Melbourne been trying to separate itself (in the minds of customers) from its big four bank parent Westpac, with signs in Bank of Melbourne windows promising lower mortgage rates than the big four banks.
In addition to the free property reports and a browse of the Eureka website, there’s also the chance to sign up for free property and investment seminars presented by Business Spectator editor James Kirby and Consumer Affairs Victoria.