Ford Canada Opens Ford Smart Lab in Quebec City
Ford Motor Company is on a quest to innovate the retail experience for car buyers, and its latest step in the direction of making the process easier is the opening of its first North American Ford Smart Lab. At the start of June, Ford Canada opened the doors of the Ford Smart Lab at Les Galeries de la Capitale in Quebec City, Quebec, providing potential customers with an open setting that makes for a more relaxed experience.
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“As customers’ shopping and buying preferences evolve, so too must the way companies engage with them,” said Robert De Filippo, Ford’s global director of in-store retail experience. “Over the last 18 to 24 months, we have been testing and learning from a number of different retail concepts, working to improve our customer experience.
“In looking through the lens of the customer, we learned, for example, that while they prefer to browse online first, they also want a physical experience where they can see, touch, and drive the vehicle — and that’s what Ford Smart Lab can provide,” De Filippo added.
The Ford Smart Lab does not replace the dealership proper in the chain. Rather, it gives interested parties a low-pressure, mall shop-type setting to experience the vehicles they’ve seen online up close and in person. The lab is located in an area with high foot traffic, encouraging drivers who are not as deep into the shopping process to experience Ford’s lineup much in the same way they’d window shop a new wardrobe.
Les Galeries de la Capitale pulls in more than 10 million visitors every year, and its Mega Parc reopened earlier this year. Since 1981, Les Galeries de la Capitale has been Quebec’s premier hub for food, entertainment, and shopping.
The original Ford Smart Lab launched to great success in Brussels, and Ford is planning to further build on its pilot program with four additional locations set to open by the end of 2019.
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