- New retail concept for Volkswagen franchise
- Trial store in Britain’s second-largest city
- Seven-days-a-week service for shoppers
BIRMINGHAM, England – Now here’s a fresh take on buying a new car… how about doing the deal in the same place as you might do you weekly shopping or meet friends for coffee and cake? That, essentially, is what VW UK has done.
The brand’s first shopping-centre retail store, with a regular shop-window and some of its products on show inside, will open in the centre of this English city in July 2017. Customers will be able to browse and, VW hopes, buy, in the environment in which they regularly shop.
Partnering in the project is Johnsons Cars, a VW retailer in the city since 2004.
“Consumer behaviour,” VW says, “continues to change and the evolving landscape inspired the move into this new area of retail. Convenience is at the heart of the concept – it opens up the opportunity for customers to conduct everything from initial inquiries to buying a new or pre-owned VW with the monthly shopping.”
‘IT’S AN EXCITING PROJECT’
Shoppers will also be able to sit in the various Volkswagens on display in the store, the choice refreshed frequently. Test drives can be done in a dedicated demo-drive area a brief walk away.
Alison Jones, UK director of VW cars, told Carman’s Corner in a media release: “Setting up VW Bull Ring Birmingham has been an exciting project…. we can’t wait to open! The store allows us to try out new ways of bringing our products and technology to the public in their familiar retail environment.
“The store is very much a long-term pilot from which we will learn. It”s all about presenting our cars and services to the public in a place convenient to them.”
‘NO-HAGGLE PRICING MODEL’
Mike Berwick, Johnsons Cars’ operations director, added: “This is a new retail format and way of going to the market. This store will complement our five existing VW retail locations; the combination will allow us to expand our customer service in sales and after-sales.
“We’ve set a very competitive ‘no-haggle’ pricing model to remove the stress of a typical showroom visit and speed up the inquiry and sales process to improve shoppers’experience.”
And how does the shopping centre feel about it? General manager Michaela Moore said: “VW joining the centre is a real coup. We were excited by the store concept; their additional offering of on-site test drives will, we think, be a real hit with our shoppers.”
Johnsons VW Bull Ring Birmingham will open on Friday July 7 and deal from 10am-8pm Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sundays.