The Future of Retail

Mitsubishi’s new boutique store approach to market aims to bring automotive retail to high-rent city centres.

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada is launching a new urban retail boutique concept for high-traffic, high-rent urban settings. The idea is to have a smaller standalone showroom in a prominent part of the city, with a service area and inventory parking located in nearby industrial low-rent spaces. “The next 12 to 18 months will be extremely exciting for Mitsubishi,” Juyu Jeon, President & CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada told Canadian AutoJournal. Jeon says the boutique concept is Mitsubishi’s response to what today’s customers want and expect from retailers. “Today, we find more buyers than shoppers. Customers don’t want stress, and they want more efficiency when servicing their vehicles and when taking a vehicle out for a test drive.” To reduce stress and boost efficiency, Mitsubishi will have a dedicated concierge shuttle vehicle between the customer’s home, the service centre, and the boutique. The concierge will also hand deliver vehicles for a test drive.

Dealer investment

This urban boutique concept is ideal for dealers who would like to run a store without being tethered to a defined square foot requirement or the costs associated with building and running a large dealership. “It’s also challenging to find the land and get the permits to build in a timely manner,” Jeon adds.

“Our strategy is to reinvent every part of our business from product to retail to service, with a keen focus on enhancing the customer experience and dealer profitability,” Jeon says. “This concept doesn’t replace the traditional dealership, but it gives our dealers more options and flexibility in choosing their next location.” That said, Jeon explains that you don’t have to be a Mitsubishi dealer in order to open your own Mitsubishi boutique. “You don’t even need to be affiliated with existing dealers,” he adds. “If you’re interested in opening a business, and if you make a proposal to us, based on our boutique concept, we’re open to hearing about it.”

Mitsubishi is planning to leverage existing technologies to make it easier than ever for consumers to research their purchases, take delivery of their vehicles, and get their vehicles serviced.

With MiCar, Mitsubishi customers can book a service appointment and have a concierge take care of picking up the vehicle and bringing it to a service centre. MiDelivery is for booking a delivery, and MiShowroom allows consumers to research vehicles, find vehicle specs, and compare Mitsubishi products with other brands.

The first Mitsubishi boutique location is currently under construction in the high-rent core of Vancouver, and should be open for business by mid-2020.

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