Nissan is testing in London an experimental retail environment that features a new-car showroom sans reception desk, cubicles or salespeople desks, and manager offices. The experiment for a new approach known internally as the Nissan New Retail Concept is being conducted with a target to create a modern retail environment while enhancing the process by which customers are moved through the buying and service process.
According to Koen Maes, vice president of customer and retail experience for Nissan Europe who oversees the project, the experiment will be soon conducted in Moscow and Stuttgart, and then elsewhere in Russia and across Western Europe. If the experiment proves to be a success in those pilot areas, it would be expanded to the Middle East and Japan. It will be expanded to the United States by September.
"If it works [in the US], it will go completely global," says Maes. "It will be the new retail concept for Nissan." The Nissan New Retail Concept entails removal of dealership offices, reception counters and cubicles. It will adopt a concierge approach to tending to customers and will push for and greater sensitivity to female shoppers.
The Nissan New Retail Concept also foresees franchise-wide adoption of service videos to show customers by e-mail the work being performed on their vehicles. The concept, however, would probably not affect dealership exteriors, Maes says. The new approach, however, would require dealers to create an open sales environment, with associates and managers promenading across the showroom and the sales lot with mobile devices to talk about the product and transact sales.
Nissan has around 8,000 sales outlets across the world, including 1,100 in the US. The carmaker’s North American management team and dealers would have to review the concept to decide if it is suitable for the US. Nissan is aiming to boosts its market share in the US to 10 percent, up from 8.5 percent at the end of February. [source: automotive news - sub. required]