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As customers look for new mobilities, visits to concessions are stalling and shopping centers are picking up the slack: what this adds up to is a successful new format for automotive brands.

"Displaying their models in open spaces at the heart of shopping flows allows them to augment their advertising campaigns using shopping centers' digital tools"

Given their location in high-potential catchment areas, shopping centers give automotive brands the opportunity to meet their current and future customers. This link to the shopper and the high level of repeat foot traffic are vital factors in major commitments such as buying a car.

The automotive sector is ranked sixth in the top ten businesses expected in pop-up stores, attracting interest from the French market. This interest guarantees visibility for the brands. Displaying their models in open spaces at the heart of shopping flows allows them to augment their advertising campaigns using shopping centers’ digital tools, social media profiles and in-mall media

With their extensive floor space, shopping centers offer a wide range of possibilities, from new retail concepts to test drives, national roadshows and showrooms. Honda’s latest models in its electric range, including the Honda e, were on display for a month at Blagnac shopping center near Toulouse. Interested visitors were invited to try them out at the test & drive in the parking lot.

The Volkswagen group chose the Val d’Europe shopping center to showcase its new electric car ID 3 and Skoda’s Octavia hybrid in the “Maison Chardon” pop-up store. Both models were on show at the heart of the shopping center’s traffic flow for three months.

Seven minutes. That’s the average time spent by a visitor at an automotive pop-up store. In addition to selling cars, brands also use this time to introduce visitors to an entertaining new experience in digitalized spaces. The pioneering Tesla actively promoted its image through pop-ups, and now has a whole range of experiential offerings in various formats: in-store concessions, exhibitions in shopping center arcades, showrooms and temporary test drive spaces, as at Les Passages in Boulogne-Billancourt. Qarson, which sells new and used cars of many brands, has integrated shopping centers into its retail strategy. It is building up its reputation and sales by setting up pop-up stores and expanding its customer service, offering vehicle deliveries to shopping centers’ parking lots. And let’s not forget Ford’s success story with its Smart Labs, actual car dealerships in shopping centers, first launched in Italy and then replicated across Europe.

Klépierre Brand Ventures, the Klépierre department responsible for ephemeral retailing, is expanding its activities in this sector with a range of big names as its shopping centers show yet again how they can take on new and future retail brand challenges. A real boost to their reputation and sales!