PSA Retail, PSA Group’s distribution group and dealer of the brands PEUGEOT, CITROËN and DS Automobiles, is opening its “Experience Store” at 39 rue Saint-Didier in Paris’s iconic 16th arrondissement. The store is an experimental automotive distribution concept that has been completely reconfigured in order to fit into very large cities of the 21st century and to embrace the codes of a digital society.
This experience brings together the revamped dealerships of these three brands, each of which has its own unique customer path. Covering 450 square metres, it offers innovative architecture solutions, immersion areas where visitors get to have a full digital experience, and dedicated sales areas which welcome customers and display the cars.
Next to the space devoted to these three brands, there is a pop-up store that is available to house economic operators or start-ups wishing to take advantage of an ideal location in a prestigious Paris neighbourhood where they can interact with their customers on an occasional or long-term basis.
Fewer square metres, more attention, more technology
With an average price per commercial square metre that is among the highest in Paris and the major European cities, PSA Retail, which represents the Group in Europe’s largest cities, is testing an economic model that allows it to simultaneously continue to serve its customers and solidify its business.
Today’s rapid changes in technologies and behaviours, whose common denominator is digital technology that functions as a tool and a crucial driver of the customer path, provide a natural impetus for redesigning automotive dealerships centred around this digital technology.
The rue Saint-Didier Experience Store, the missing link in the omni-channel customer path, is the first building block in an experimental model that can be expanded to other cities. It features:
• surfaces that are around two-thirds smaller than a traditional dealership;
• a brand space that spotlights the digital experience;
• one or two recent models on display;
• highly specialised staff equipped to welcome “expert customers” and guide them to the end of the customer path;
• an intelligent and engaged multi-brand dealership that offers the complete product lines of the Group’s three brands, showcasing their range and multitude of features on a site with a smaller real estate footprint.
Today’s customers are not the customers of the past. Considerably more informed than they used to be, they come to the dealership at the end of the customer path, which they have already travelled mainly online. When they reach the stage of visiting the dealership, they already know what they want, they have determined the priorities on their shopping list and they are experts on the product they wish to use or buy.
Confronted with this reality, traditional dealers need to rethink their approach: enter the “sales brand ambassador”.
These highly trained experts have mastered crucial “soft skills” that they deploy in all their interactions with customers, and they know the products inside out. Yet they must also be adept users of the tools and interfaces of the digital chain.
This is the new dealer profile, operating within a revamped dealership which needs to supplement the information available online, increase the autonomy and transparency of e-commerce and provide in-store services and guidance.
Before and during the launch of the Experience Store, these employees, who belong to a new category of sales professionals, will have undergone a total of 240 hours of training in order to provide today’s rightfully discriminating customers with top-notch expertise in the Group’s brands.
Test-drive area and After-Sales service: a unique tool a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower
While digital technology is an indispensable component of the customer path, consumers still expect concrete services from the dealer, in whom they place their trust.
Studies show that 85% of customers who visit dealerships expect to be able to talk to a sales consultant and see a vehicle, and 75% of customers expect to be able to test-drive the vehicle.*
The rue Saint-Didier Experience Store will incorporate this aspect of service, constructing a permanent test-drive area on an expansive underground surface. This will allow customers to physically test vehicles in addition to having an immersive digital experience.
After-Sales is a key element of the service customers are entitled to and of the economic equilibrium of the modern dealership, even one that is located in a city centre. It accommodates the three brands marketed at the rue Saint-Didier Experience Store, and it will perform 19,000 service hours per year in the workshop.
*ZMOT Automotive Study 2011. Global auto shopper/Base all new cars buyers Yahoo advertising 2014.
Xavier Duchemin, Head of PSA Retail, said:
« “The PSA Retail | Paris 16 Experience Store is the first step in PSA Retail’s efforts to conceptualise automotive distribution in the hyper-centres of the very large European cities of the 21st century. It revolutionises the architectural approach by making the digital experience a vital part of the retail space, reduces the real estate footprint by two-thirds, offers an intelligent multi-brand dealership that preserves the identity and customer path of each brand, and changes the role of the automotive dealer, which is evolving into that of a brand ambassador.”
PSA Retail | Experience Store at a glance
Business address: Rue Saint-Didier, Paris 16th arrondissement
PEUGEOT, CITROËN, DS Automobiles
A pop-up store (partnership with brands or cross- branding)
5 Brand Ambassadors
800 NV/year, full year
300 UV/year, full year
4,000 m2 underground After-Sales workshop
19,000 After-Sales hours per year
Permanent NV test-drive area for 20 cars