Volkswagen has become the latest car brand to join what seems to be an up and coming trend for car retailers opening smaller format stores in the heart of shopping centres across the UK.

It is becoming much easier for consumers to buy online, which is why Volkswagen were inspired to move into the heart of a busy shopping centre like the Bullring in Birmingham. They believe convenience is the reason behind the ‘change in consumer behaviour’, which is seeing car retailers opening smaller high street stores to keep up with the change in the way that the consumer shops. With the Bullring in Birmingham having a footfall of 36 million people a year, this should be the perfect location for Volkswagen to open their first small format store. With other car retailers having already successfully opened smaller format stores, does this mean a change in the way cars are sold

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1. Volkswagen, Bullring (Birmingham)

The new 178.5sqm store in the Bullring has a variety of displays that highlight Volkswagen’s in-car technology. With only a couple of models on display the store aim to refresh the cars frequently in order to keep the new store up to date. This also means technology is key, as it is still important for them to be able to make a profit in the smaller format showrooms. To enable customers to have a similar experience when visiting a car showroom outside of a shopping centre, there is a dedicated test drive area a short walk away. However with vehicle accessories and official merchandise on display, the store has a much different feel to the typical car showroom we know. The large display screens give the store a clean, and modern feel, with the idea being that customers make their own ‘journey’ around the st

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2. Tesla, Touchwood Centre (Solihull)

Another car manufacturer which has opened various car showrooms in shopping centres across the UK is Tesla. Last year saw Tesla open a 481sqm store in the Touchwood centre in Solihull, as part of the up and coming development in the Touchwood Centre which has recently seen new stores from Pandora, Five Guys, Monsoon, and Next who have created a new regional flagship store. The store features just two vehicles, one being the latest model, with a rolling chassis demonstrating the technology, as well as a design studio and Tesla merchandise. Product specialists are on hand to help customers if necessary and similarly to the new Volkswagen store in the Bullring, test drives are also possible to book from the customer car park. The store is stylish and represents the Tesla brand well, particularly in such as small space. With t

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3. Hyundai, Bluewater (Kent)

New automotive retailer Rockar launched their first store in the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, collaborating with Hyundai to create an exciting store experience, with their aim to revolutionise the way that cars are brought. The store is focused on allowing the consumers to view cars at their leisure, allow an easy test drive experience, and even gives you the option to purchase a new car without having to speak to a sales person. Digital screens are a key feature in the store explaining the brand’s proposition, car specifications, pricing and promotions, a central touchscreen also allows the customer to view the full product range. The store is simple, but effective with its main focus being the customer experience, with areas of the store dedicated to choosing finishes and other specifications which make your car perso

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