Bluewater sees opening of first BMW Urban store in UK
The UK’s first BMW Urban store has opened at the Bluewater shopping and leisure destination.
Situated on Lower Thames Walk opposite Next, the 1,600 square foot space is operated by Stephen James BMW Group and combines digital and physical retailing in one experience.
Visitors to the store can use smart ‘click and buy’ screens to access product information and carry out their order journey online and in-store. With eight BMW "product geniuses" on hand to explain about the cars’ technology and specifications, the store also features a robot with the ability to provide product information and receive feedback. In addition, visitors can take test drives directly from the shopping centre.
The store design and fit out was overseen in-house by Stephen James BMW’s head of property, James Browne, and includes three display models, which are currently the BMW 1 Series, BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer and the first-ever BMW X2. Display vehicles will regularly be updated with the latest BMW models to offer Bluewater’s guests the latest designs.
In addition, existing BMW and MINI drivers can enjoy a free barista-style coffee in the Isetta bar on presentation of their car key.
Simon Austin, from Stephen James BMW Group, said: “We wanted to offer customers a simple and easy process in purchasing a car, and Bluewater was the ideal location for this. This opportunity to bring customers into our experience-focused Urban store, combining the comfort and leisure of a retail environment with the opportunity to test drive, as you would in a traditional dealership location, was an important step for our future plans.”
Other car brands to launch experience-led retail spaces at Bluewater include Rockar Hyundai and Tesla.
Russell Loveland, senior portfolio director at Landsec, co-owner and asset manager of Bluewater, said: “Stephen James’s choice of Bluewater for the first BMW Urban store in the UK highlights our position as the leading destination for car brands seeking a highly effective way to engage with consumers. The experience-led content of the new BMW Urban store also reflects our commitment to ensuring Bluewater provides so much more than simply a collection of great shops and restaurants."
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