In case you’re unfamiliar with the “Retail Next” concept, it is marketing speak for a revamped dealership experience that BMW is currently rolling out in many parts of the world. The latest showroom to benefit from the new look is Grand Brasil in Alphaville, Sao Paulo. The building has no fewer than six floors and covers 14,500 square meters but it’s not packed with cars since the company believes less is more by displaying only a handful of vehicles.
The idea behind Retail Next is to mimic a fancy boutique hotel with lounge-like seating and premium furniture. Speaking of which, BMW Group Brasil says it hand-picked an “exclusive group of suppliers” to provide the swanky furniture. We’re being told that this new dealership experience is all about making the customer the “star of the showroom.”
Grand Brasil has everything that you could possibly need since it includes body and paint shops, along with a dedicated automotive detailing and customization studio. There’s a built-in coffee shop, not to mention a helipad. With Concept Next, BMW says it wants to put the customer in the center of attention and has designed private areas where clients can negotiate pricing and learn about the payment terms. On that note, BMW Financial Services workers provide the necessary assistance.
BMW had been working on the Retail Next concept before the coronavirus pandemic, according to Pieter Nota, the company’s man in charge of sales and marketing. However, the process was accelerated after discovering more and more people outside of Europe wanted to configure their cars instead of buying whatever was in stock. Internal research has shown that customers are willing to patiently wait to get their personally specced cars and are more satisfied with their purchase.
From 2026, BMW will adopt the agency model by switching to direct sales in Europe. The automaker will invoice customers directly and there will be no room to haggle since the cars will be sold at fixed prices. The middleman won’t be eliminated as dealers are going to finalize the deal from which they’ll earn a fixed commission. MINI will be the first brand from the BMW Group to switch to the agency model in 2024.