The UK’s first BMW Urban store has opened at Bluewater in Kent. Located on the Lower Thames Walk opposite Next, the 148 sq m BMW Urban store is operated by Stephen James BMW Group and offers Bluewater’s guests a new way of buying a BMW that combines digital and physical retailing in one experience.
Shoppers can use smart click-and-buy screens to access product information and carry out their order journey online and instore. Test drives are also available directly from Bluewater and eight BMW Product Geniuses are available, each specially trained to demonstrate the latest technology and other features. The store also features a robot with the ability to provide product information and receive feedback.
The store design and fit out was overseen in-house by Stephen James, BMW’s head of property, James Browne, and includes three display models, currently the BMW 1 Series, BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer and the first-ever BMW X2. Display vehicles will regularly be updated with the latest BMW models to offer shoppers the latest designs.
Adding to the experience, existing BMW and MINI drivers can enjoy a free barista-style coffee in the Isetta bar on presentation of their car key.
'Stephen James’s choice of Bluewater for the first BMW Urban store in the UK highlights our position as the leading destination for car brands seeking a highly effective way to engage with consumers. The experience-led content of the new BMW Urban store also reflects our commitment to ensuring Bluewater provides so much more than simply a collection of great shops and restaurants. It is a highly relevant addition to Bluewater’s unique line-up of brands,' says Russell Loveland, senior portfolio director at Landsec, co-owner and asset manager of Bluewater.
Simon Austin from Stephen James BMW Group adds: 'We wanted to offer customers a simple and easy process in purchasing a car, and Bluewater was the ideal location for this. This opportunity to bring customers into our experience-focused Urban store, combining the comfort and leisure of a retail environment with the opportunity to test drive, as you would in a traditional dealership location, was an important step for our future plans.'