The 800-square-meter (8,611 square feet) showcase "marks the launch of a new generation of BMW brand stores," part of a rather ominous and clandestine-sounding pair of initiatives called "Future Retail" and "Strategy Number ONE." Boiled down for laymen, the aim is obviously to get more people in BMWs by getting to more people in more places.
Mini retail stores will follow, as will more social media engagement, and dealers are getting Apple-esque Product Geniuses to "support customers with in-depth product knowledge." Scroll down for the press release detailing the retail assault, and check out pictures of the Paris opening – especially the white dresses on the pixies – in the gallery of high-res photos.
- BMW Group begins comprehensive programme to enhance customer retail experience
- Robertson: We aim to be the benchmark in automotive retail
(23.05.2012) Munich/Paris. The BMW Group celebrated the grand opening of its first new BMW Brand Store in the most luxurious area of metropolitan Paris in the Avenue George V tonight. The store was designed by the well-known, luxury retail architect, Eric Carlson and his team from Carbondale Architects and Version Architects.
With the grand opening of the 800m2 BMW Brand Store in the very heart of luxury retail, BMW is reaching out to shoppers with the objective of allowing them to experience the brand in their chosen environment. The new store was formally inaugurated by Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW, together with the Architect, Eric Carlson, and the Head of BMW France, Serge Naudin, as well as a large number of VIP guests from Paris. BMW George V marks the launch of a new generation of BMW brand stores as well as the beginning of a comprehensive programme at the BMW Group which the company refers to as "Future Retail".
Ian Robertson said in the French capital on Wednesday: "The world of retail has changed significantly – customer behaviour, needs and expectations have changed, as well as communication technology. As part of our corporate Strategy Number ONE, we critically reviewed our processes and customer feedback. We will now build upon our strengths and implement a comprehensive programme named Future Retail. This will entail a whole range of initiatives and tools designed to enhance the customer experience and to set new standards for retail in the automotive industry and beyond."
With Future Retail, the BMW Group has three objectives – first, to increase the number of possible contact points with customers and prospects, second, to increase the services and benefits offered in its retail channels, and third, to enhance the retail experience at all touch points.
Therefore, customers can expect to see a number of new BMW and MINI retail formats, as well as several initiatives in the near future. These include, among others, a new online presence and social media activities, as well as a more appealing showroom appearance. Some aspects can be experienced already, such as a virtual product presentation which has already been implemented in the BMW Munich and Zurich branches, as well as MINI Westfield in London.
BMW is also in the process of introducing an additional role to the dealers, namely a Product Genius. The objective here is to better support customers with in-depth product knowledge as well as enabling the customer to better utilize and configure products in accordance with their particular needs. As the Product Genius needs to be mobile, he or she will be equipped with a state of the art Information Management System on a tablet device, allowing, for example, product configuration and in-depth explanation of features supported by visuals and films.
The first markets which are planned for the roll-out of Future Retail, including the Product Genius, are France, UK, China and the Netherlands.
Ian Robertson stated, "When it comes to recruiting and enabling the right people for the implementation of future retail, we will assist our dealers to attract, develop and retain the industry's best professionals. This is of particular importance for the role of the Product Genius. Throughout all of this and supported by an increased number of customer contact points with our brands, the dealer's role becomes even more essential – as our face to the customer and the provider of a true, personal and emotional, premium experience."