The SEAT UK retail concept ‘Store’ was a first step into retail for the global brand. The space combines showrooming and digital technology to offer an innovative and compelling new customer experience to intu Lakeside’s 26 million annual visitors.
The move to create a retail presence acknowledges the changes in automotive consumers’ paths to purchase, which are now heavily influenced by self-guided online research. SEAT’s retail space was required to invite serendipity, engage consumers through experience and offer a warm introduction to the brand.
The inspiration for the concept design builds upon SEAT’s dynamic new corporate identity, founded on the theme of ‘spirited spaces and warm welcomes’. Natural materials are used to give the space a relaxed feel, combined with Mediterranean-inspired colours. The Barcelona-based brand dials up the connection with its cultural heritage within the space, an olive tree takes pride of place and is encircled by Gaudi-inspired seating for weary shoppers, creating a relaxed space for the customer to discover SEAT.
SEAT’s 150m² dual location retail presence at intu Lakeside includes a ‘Concept Store’ and just a short walk away, an outdoor ‘Experience Centre’ which houses 16 SEAT models that can be explored and test driven.
In keeping with the browsing-oriented retail environment, the latest interactive and connected technologies are employed giving customers control over how they would like to engage with the purchase process.
For example, visitors have the option of researching their perfect SEAT through eight 22-inch digital info “hubs”, where they can also configure models, explore financing options and even book immediate test drives in the nearby ‘Experience Centre’.
Matt Benns, Head of Customer Quality & Network Development, SEAT UK
“Our new concept is a world first for us, and I’m delighted to be working with Green Room Design to deliver such an exciting venture, their comprehensive understanding of our brand and of how to optimise retail space will make it even easier for people to discover and fall in love with our award-winning range of cars.”