Ford Launches Showroom at Next Store at Manchester Arndale
In July, Ford officially opened its five-vehicle FordStore at the Next store at Manchester Arndale shopping center. The first-of-its-kind showroom was announced earlier this year and would likely spawn similar locations if it proves to be successful.
“Ford recognizes a growing appetite to browse for cars in other retail environments and online. We are excited to be able respond, through the partnership with Next, to the changing way consumers want to shop and interact with our brand,” said Ford of Britain Chairman and Managing Director Andy Barratt. “We have the most extensive dealership network, which will remain to serve the many consumers wanting to visit a dealer and for specialist retail, van, and service assistance.”
The Arndale center boasts yearly foot traffic of around 42 million, promising considerable attention for Ford vehicles including the Mustang, EcoSport, Fiesta Active, and Fiesta ST. For added appeal, the FordStore offers free Wi-Fi and mobile phone charging stations.
The showroom is staffed by 15 Hosts, which are almost certainly not Hosts from Westworld but rather actual people. (Though if any of the hosts looked like James Marsden, it would be a plus.) The Hosts help customers by booking test drives and going through various vehicle configurations using the FordStore’s accompanying online sales website.
The site, developed with the assistance of Rockar, lets customers go through just about every step of the car purchasing process, up to and including financing, ordering, scheduling deliveries at home or the at their nearest dealership, and trading in their old vehicles. Like any Ford sold at a conventional dealership, vehicles purchased through the Next FordStore and online tool are offered with Ford’s factory warranty and roadside assistance package.