Imagine Louis Vuitton sold high-end sedans instead of handbags and you will get a feel for what BMW was going for with the design of their newest concept store in Paris. Counter to the auto malls you might find a Beamer dealership situated within in the United States, this BMW store hangs with other hip brands from the fashion and cosmetics world in one of the city's hottest shopping districts.
The store is the realization of what BMW hopes to make the standard of future retail automotive sales. They realize the average BMW consumer is different and has different needs and expectations than past consumers or those interested in other brands. Speaking of other brands, Ian Robertson, head of sales and marketing for BMW, mentioned that BMW is taking a cue from Apple and are moving forward to create something they're calling "product geniuses".
In the future, all of their retail sales will be handled by well-qualified and well-informed product specialists (A.K.A. Brand Geniuses) who are fully trained to address and highlight all aspects of BMW's products. As you would imagine, the future of retail includes a variety of branded lifestyle products on top of the finely engineered vehicles we are all so fond of.
Vistors will find clothing, strollers, umbrellas, mugs, watches, golf accessories, sunglasses and more. BMW even offers miniature bikes designed just for the kids (see photo below). Like I sad, it's not just a dealership, it's a store, and it embodies a lifestyle not just a form of transportation.
Checkout Bloomberg's coverage of the store's grand opening in Paris:
So that's what the future of automobile sales looks like according to BMW. If you're looking for a good example of this on the American side, look at the work Chrysler has done with the Jeep brand. You can find the Jeep stamp on thousands of products. They are all about promoting a rugged outdoor lifestyle, even if you've never engaged the four-wheel drive on your vehicle.
(Pictures courtesy of Ad Age Global)