Dealerships are one thing, but retail stores are the new black when it comes to premium automotive brands getting in touch with potential consumers – and that trend is going to expand.
Jaguar Land Rover Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner said the British company is looking to expand its retail footprint in the coming years across new marketplaces, having established its first retail setup at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney.
“I can see three or four facilities around the country over the next two or three years,” Wiesner said, before explaining that the location of boutique store in Bondi Junction was specifically chosen for the market the brand is trying to reach.
“It took about two years to put together and we’re already looking at other places around the country.
“That retail space is challenging to get the optimum location and position. As a hub and spoke development in conjunction with existing dealer networks, it’s there to enhance the existing way of doing business. We’re taking our brands to the people, rather than dragging them in the traditional way.
“The audience is far more passive than it is when people are ready and in the market. The environment is a bit more relaxed.”
Wiesner said about 24 million people go through the shopping centre in Sydney’s eastern suburbs annually, and that the company will be targeting similar locations around the nation, including more options in Sydney, and new locations in Melbourne and South-East Queensland.
“It is all about delivering on the experience, and there are more ways to do that, and by putting ourselves in an environment like that it’s another way of enhancing what that is,” he said.
When asked if dealers have questioned the move, Wiesner said that hasn’t been the case.
“Dealers are fine with it. We’ve made it very clear that we have no intention of going out and doing retail by ourselves – dealers are our retail body,” he said.
“We’d like the right dealers to be involved in this concept with us – but it’s not about taking the behaviours of a normal dealer environment and putting it into one of these establishments. It’s a different approach.”
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