Volkswagen is the latest car brand to embrace the retail-friendly ‘store’ concept in the UK. Its first store will open in Birmingham’s Bullring next month, on Friday 7 July.
The new VW store has been set up by local Volkswagen dealer Johnsons Cars. A development of the dealer’s other retail pop-up sites, the intention is to let casual customers browse and buy cars from somewhere they already spend a lot of time. And the opportunity to attract visitors is enormous: Bullring Birmingham has a footfall of 36 million people a year.
Volkswagen says the design is ‘refreshing’ and feels it’s such a showcase, the new Birmingham store will become the firm’s second ‘landmark retailer’ after the massive Volkswagen West London site. It will be bright, modern and packed with display screens, so customers can configure new cars and check out Das Auto approved used stock.
There will also be a couple of real cars in the shop.
It even offers the opportunity for test drives: customers book in the shop then walk over to the test drive handover area, and they’re away.
This bit has got Bullring Birmingham general manager Michaela Moore excited: “Volkswagen joining the centre is a real coup for us. We were excited by the new store concept and, with their additional offering of onsite test drives, we think it will be a real hit with our shoppers.”
For its part, Volkswagen Passenger Cars director Alison Jones says it allows the brand to try out new ways of interacting with customers: “The store is very much a long-term pilot that we will learn much from.”
It even offers clarity on pricing, adds Johnsons Cars operations director Mike Berwick. “We have set a very competitive ‘no haggle’ pricing model. This will remove the stress experienced by some from the typical showroom visit and will allow us to speed up the enquiry and sales process, therefore delivering a better experience for shoppers.”
Volkswagen Bullring Birmingham opening hours
- Monday to Friday: 10am to 8pm
- Saturday: 9am to 8pm
- Sunday: 11am to 5pm
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