Uni-Select has opened a dual-purpose, showcase, Bumper to Bumper Corporate store in London, Ont. The 26,000 square foot location will house more than 26,000 SKUs worth about $5 million.
“Not only does this location serve as a showcase for us, in terms of availability, but we also want to make sure that we are equipped to say yes more often than anyone else,” said Sandro Verrelli, Vice President, and General Manager, Bumper to Bumper Corporate Stores, Uni-Select Canada Inc.
NASCAR Pinty’s series driver Kevin Lacroix was on hand with his #74 Bumper to Bumper/Total/Gates sponsored Dodge Challenger to greet customers at the grand opening of the new London, Ontario location on Friday, June 2nd.
“The idea is to not only be present in this market but to actually elevate our game,” said Verrelli. “In addition to building strength in our corporate stores, this new location also serves as an R & D centre for our members.” He added that, “whether it’s our inventory planning expertise, sales, marketing, or business development, we are testing and learning on a number of different fronts, not only on behalf of Uni-Select but also on behalf of the member network that we support.”
The new corporate store is managed by Trevor Herron along with 13 experienced staff members and serviced by five delivery vehicles. Herron said the combined experience of his staff adds up to 110 years of automotive aftermarket knowledge. “Product knowledge, along with exceptional inventory, are two of the main keys to providing the best customer experience,” said Herron.
“Job one for us is to make sure we are well equipped from an availability perspective,” added Verrelli. “We also want to set a new benchmark when it comes to the customer experience. We thought long and hard about the showroom experience, and although it’s a smaller part of our business today, we think it’s important for it to be aligned with the brand experience.”
Uni-Select recently chose PartsWatch as its point-of-sales system and is rolling it out coast to coast. “We are in the process of standardizing and deploying this in our branches across Canada. It’s a state-of-the art-system that is exceptionally easy to use, and it provides our team members with tools and insights that answer questions and provides solutions for our customers a little bit easier than they are likely accustomed to in the past,” said Verrelli.
In addition to its five delivery vehicles, the London location also has trucks running between the new London location, its branch in New Hamburg, and its Brampton distribution centre.
“We will have trucks moving between branches and multiple times per day to make sure that we can get the right parts when we need them, and we will provide those services, and that availability to our local members in southwestern Ontario region,” added Verrelli. “The number one driver for growth for Bumper to Bumper has been through acquisition, and that’s largely based on the idea that we are not looking to add capacity to any given market, but we are looking to build network strength.”
“We launched the Bumper to Bumper brand across the country last year, and now everyone is getting on board, and we are launching corporate stores. We are here to stay. That message is loud and clear, said Linda Donnini, Vice President, Marketing at Uni-Select Inc. “We will continue to look for opportunities to expand our brand across the country.”