Having successfully developed ‘spirited spaces and warm welcomes’, the design inspiration behind SEAT’s Lakeside retail store and a first for VW Group globally, we stepped the proposition up a gear in the shape of their new flagship project at Westfield, London, delivering the essence of Barcelona in a relaxed car shopping environment to its 27 million annual visitors.
Building on the success of the Lakeside collaboration, SEAT’s new flagship retail channel needed to disrupt the shopping habits of Westfield visitors; engage chance discoverers and create meaningful moments, encouraging a warm and vibrant introduction to the brand.
The inspiration for the concept design came from the spirited Catalonian culture, fused with the architecture and infrastructure of the city of Barcelona. We took to the city streets to really understand Barcelona’s ‘vida loca’ and its influence on Mediterranean culture and lifestyle. From the paved streets of Paca de Gracia, through the tree-lined Las Rambla, our vision was to change the normal sales journey and bring a relaxed Mediterranean feel into the experience. Leveraging these colours, sounds and sights, we set about creating moments of engagement to connect to and change the way people felt about the brand.
Barcelona’s essence is once again captured and the warm presence of the city permeates the space. Copper slatted panels- influenced by Frank Gehry’s fish sculpture- offer glimpses into life in Barcelona, while Gaudi-style mosaic tiles form the seating area beneath an olive tree taking pride of place, centre store. As customers pause for thought below its branches, LED lighting above gently dip and lift mimicking the movement of clouds overhead, promoting a feeling of overall calmness and encouraging extended dwell time.
New features include a kiosk situated outside the store, disrupting the surrounding space and enticing passers-by inside. Once in store, a consultation area provides visitors with expert product knowledge and brand discovery. Interactivity of the store is fundamental to elevating the physical and emotional journey. The showcase area places customers in a 270° seamless digital image projection of life in Barcelona, sat in the car customers are instantly transported through the streets of the city and its rich cultural heritage.
A ‘Connectivity Bar’ encourages visitors to navigate the brand’s latest infotainment system, while shoppers keen to trial one of SEAT’s range are led via the lift lobby, directly to the test drive area, which offers hour-long unaccompanied drives, reinforcing the overriding principles of pressure-free sales and self-discovery.
The Handover Area, where purchasers collect their new vehicle, creates a dramatic back-drop through its dynamic lighting and background music. Here customers go through final vehicle checks and receive assistance with controls and connectivity, the final stage in the brand experience before driving away in their new SEAT.
“I’m delighted to be able to bring our exciting brand into the heart of London with the opening of our second store, this time in Westfield London. Our new White City store looks terrific and I’m sure will open up the SEAT brand to a whole new generation of enthusiasts and buyers alike, thanks to its high-tech, relaxed Mediterranean vibe. We are extremely impressed with the result that Green Room have delivered for us.”
Richard Harrison, UK Director at SEAT