From the car park to the shop floor.

It is quite conceivable that regional centres in Australia will include auto precincts in the not too distant future.

As shopping centres continue to evolve in subtle ways, some new uses really catch your eye.

The last two Urbis International Retail Study Tours have witnessed the emergence and success of specialty shop car showrooms in prominent shopping centre locations throughout the USA, Canada and Europe.

Some are proving to be tremendously successful, even Apple like. One wonders why it has taken so long!

There are at least four good reasons why having specialty car showrooms in shopping centres makes sense for retailers and landlords:

  1. Firstly, major shopping centres attract millions of people, including some in excess of 15 million per year. This footfall means great exposure.
  2. They are also a far less intimidating place to browse than the traditional car yards on highways, especially as the approach adopted by staff is largely educational, with no hard sell. In fact many don’t even transact.
  3. Thirdly, shopping centres are increasingly looking for new approaches and new uses that will attract men and result in shoppers lingering longer. Some members of our tour group referred to the benefits of car showrooms as ‘man crèches’ in centres!
  4. Finally, shopping centres are constantly looking to broaden their base and refresh their mix – new uses, new retailers and more reasons to visit are critical; and cars are an important household commodity.

It is quite conceivable that regional centres in Australia will include auto precincts in the not too distant future. The challenge is to convince manufacturers and dealerships to take the step beyond casual mall leasing, because there is a very clear alignment with potential customers.

sea_bellevue-centre_283Mini showroom, Bellevue Centre, Seattle la_fashion-island_011Lincoln Car showroom, Fashion Island, L.A village-corte-madera_044Tesla showroom, The Village at Corte Madera

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