Volkswagen Inaugural Store Concept Motors into Bullring
Volkswagen’s inaugural new store concept, designed by Dalziel & Pow, uses “the joy of Volkswagen life” as its inspiration. Located in The Bullring, Birmingham this pioneering vision for automotive retailing connects consumers with the pleasures of car ownership.
The Bullring concept motivates a wide audience not only to engage with stories in-store and admire the brand’s innovations, but also to jump behind the wheel, get more out of their free time and live adventurously with Volkswagen.
Responding to shifting consumer attitudes and the demand for experience, Volkswagen’s store brings auto retail into a bustling shopping centre setting that boasts an annual footfall of 36 million. Customers can seamlessly conduct everything from initial enquiries to the purchase of a new or pre-owned Volkswagen car in this inviting, interactive space.
The Bullring store vividly brings to life the benefits and joys of owning a Volkswagen vehicle, trading technical specifications for human connections and engaging storytelling. It connects over shared passions such as outdoor pursuits, extreme fitness and wanderlust.
The open entrance design with its 10-screen video wall immediately attracts Bullring shoppers. An editorial approach was taken to explain the everyday life benefits of the vehicles in a relatable context, featured on large-scale magazine light boxes adjacent to each vehicle. Each model’s provenance and usability is clearly communicated along with the wider brand story – both celebrating its heritage and promoting its future.
An innovative digital wall, spanning the left-hand side of the store, invites everyone to explore the brand and its models in a richly engaging interplay of physical objects, film and animation. Arranged on shelves, an eclectic assortment of tactile objects trigger car-related stories to play. Vignettes of people enjoying the real life benefits of vehicle ownership come alive around car models, and on a model of Volkswagen’s Car Towers in Autostadt is a button that prompts illuminations and facts about the factory and manufacturing processes to appear on the wall. Additional scale models give visitors the opportunity to discover more, and with a simple touch 360° footage of the vehicle and its key features appear on the screen behind. And a series of icons along the interactive wall and shelves trigger the latest in technological advancements from Volkswagen.
Quotes from car owners, iconic adverts, branded video and aggregated social media feeds all feature in the multi-sensory display. The digital wall also engages children with specific features on the lower shelves. They can turn the key in a model Volkswagen Beetle car to launch an animated backdrop, as if the car is being driven through a changing landscape, or customise a Golf using projected patterns and colour.
After exploring the digital wall, customers may configure their own car on iPads around a central table, getting added inspiration from wall-mounted samples of colours and finishes, before moving onto a big-screen ‘reveal’ of their chosen vehicle. A final side-by-side consultation with non-commissioned product experts finishes the purchase journey in a personal, human way. The journey has been designed to remove barriers to purchase and to offer a simple car-buying process.
Customers are invited to experience new models first hand by sitting in various Volkswagens displayed in-store, or taking a car for a spin from the dedicated test drive pod in the recently refurbished Bullring centre car park – Bullrings new look car parks feature a bay monitoring system’ and lighting to indicate available spaces, in addition to ‘Dynamic Digital Wayfinding’ which showcases real time car space availability for visitors and are just a brief walk away, beneath the store.
Michaela Moore, General Manager of Bullring, commented: “We are thrilled that Volkswagen has chosen Bullring for its debut store in a UK shopping centre, it’s great to see top car brands recognising the value in opening modern day showrooms in prime retail destinations. The opening marks the latest in a number of high end regional debuts including; Ben Sherman, T2, New Look Men and Smashbox, as well as both Coach and Russell & Bromley which are set to open in August.”
Flexible design means the store can be transformed overnight to accommodate individual car stories or takeovers, such as a model launch, and the vehicles on display will be refreshed frequently to keep the experience right up to date. Volkswagen’s comprehensive vehicle accessories and official merchandise are stocked in the store, and it is even possible to purchase a used car from Volkswagen’s ‘Das WeltAuto’ Approved Used car scheme, using Volkswagen’s award-winning Blended Retail system to begin the purchase decision either in store or on www.volkswagen.co.uk.
Dalziel & Pow’s unique lifestyle-led design at Birmingham’s Bullring delivers a new retail landmark for the Volkswagen brand, joining its flagship site in West London. Partnering Volkswagen in the project is Johnsons Cars, which has operated Johnsons Volkswagen retailers in the Birmingham area since 2004.
Officially opened on Friday 7th July, The Volkswagen Bullring store is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 8pm, Saturday from 9am until 8pm and Sunday, 11am until 5pm and is located on the Lower East Mall between Footlocker Kids and Skechers, near Selfridges.
The Bullring is a major commercial area of central Birmingham and has been an important feature of Birmingham since the middle ages when its market was first held. Two shopping centers have been built in the area; in the 1960s and then in 2003 – the current shopping centre was the busiest in the United Kingdom in 2004 with 36.5 million visitors. The Bullring houses one of only four Selfridges department stores, the fourth largest Debenhams, Forever 21 and now, the Flagship Volkswagen shopping centre store. The centre has been a huge success since opening, attracting customers from all over the world and transforming shopping in Birmingham, making it one of the most popular destinations for retail therapy in the UK.
For more information, visit: https://www.bullring.co.uk/shops/volkswagen
MediaZest is an award-winning audio visual (AV) solutions specialist, providing pioneering AV solutions to the retail, automotive, financial and corporate sectors. Some of the world’s most exciting organisations hire MediaZest to bring their brands to life.
MediaZest has been in operation for more than 40 years and within this time has worked with many leading brands, including Rockar, Jaguar Land Rover, Hyundai, adidas, Ted Baker, Diesel, Kuoni, Clydesdale Bank (Studio B), Post Office (concept labs), The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development and many more. Most recently, MediaZest has worked alongside Dalziel & Pow on the Volkswagen Showroom project at The Bullring, Birmingham.
Working on the Volkswagen project, MediaZest provided the full end-to-end AV solution; from developing the overall system design, to pre-testing and installation, content management and aftercare support.
Geoff Robertson, MediaZest, said:
“Johnson’s Volkswagen showroom in The Bullring, Birmingham is a project that we are very excited to be involved in. It allows us to combine our expertise in Audio Visual systems with our specialist experience of the automotive sector; while partnering with retail design agency Dalziel & Pow to help turn their amazing concept into physical reality.”
“At MediaZest, we pride ourselves on going further for our clients than anyone else. With our in-house team of technical engineers we love to develop and install AV solutions that are pioneering for our clients while leading the AV market.”