Hammerson announces that Volkswagen has chosen Bullring, Birmingham, to open its first retail store in a UK shopping centre.
Present in more than 150 markets throughout the world, Volkswagen Passenger Cars is known for its bestselling models including the Golf, Tiguan, Polo and Passat. The brand is partnering with Johnsons Cars to launch the new retail concept at Bullring. With a 200 sq m unit on the lower mall, Volkswagen has focused on creating a unique fit out that showcases the brand’s in-car technology, advanced features and eye-catching styling.
The store will feature three display cars which will be regularly refreshed so that shoppers can enjoy a different experience each time they visit. For those looking to road test a Volkswagen, the new retail store offers a dedicated test drive area nearby. With the ability to purchase online or in-store, Bullring’s shoppers will be able to engage with the Volkswagen brand and its products in a unique, experiential environment, designed by retail design agency Dalziel & Pow.
Volkswagen’s decision to open a store in Bullring is reflective of a wider trend in which car manufacturers and other big ticket retailers are looking beyond the traditional showroom and recognising the value of a physical presence in prime retail destinations. With an annual footfall of 36 million visitors, Bullring provides the ideal venue for retailers looking to raise brand awareness and showcase technological capabilities.
Iain Mitchell, UK commercial director at Hammerson, commented: “Providing Bullring’s shoppers with a new and exciting experience is incredibly important, and the new Volkswagen retail store delivers just that. The use of the physical store as a brand showcase is becoming a popular model for retailers and car manufacturers looking to make an impact, in this case enabling Volkswagen to demonstrate both its best-selling models and digital innovations in the leading shopping centre in the region.”
Alison Jones, director of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, said: “Setting up Johnsons Volkswagen Bullring Birmingham has been an exciting project and we can’t wait to open the doors to the public. The store allows us to try out new ways of bringing our cutting edge products and technologies to the public in their usual retail environment.”