Mercedes' Redesigned Atlanta Store Only Keeps Two Cars On Display

Luxury / 6 Comments

And there is less pressure to make a purchasing decision. It's all part of Merc's new method of attracting interest.

Like many other automakers, Mercedes-Benz wants to redefine the traditional retail experience and is doing so by introducing a redesigned, digital-focused store in an upscale part of Atlanta that can introduce customers to the brand, reports Automotive News.

Smaller than the traditional showroom, the boutique space operated by retailer RBM of Alpharetta only has two models on display, so if you were expecting to see every S-Class or GLE-Class on display, think again. While test drives are available and customers can configure a new Mercedes here, more formal processes like paperwork are handled at a nearby dealership. Rather, this is a low-pressure environment where customers won't feel compelled to make a purchasing decision on the spot and can, instead, speak to a brand ambassador or interact with the various digital displays.

Mercedes-Benz Experience by RBM of Alpharetta/Facebook

"We are moving away from traditional big locations to add small, lifestyle formats where people can walk in, see a product, and get some information," said Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dimitris Psillakis when talking to Automotive News. "You show products, but it's not a place where you go and kick tires. There is no aftersales."

The redesigned store was conceived as a way to generate leads, and after operating for a year, 70-80 leads are generated monthly. Three to five of these leads end up converting to sales.

"We get our name out to people who wouldn't know that our dealership is 2 miles away," said David Ellis, general manager at RBM of Alpharetta. "People walk into that store wanting to know what it is."

Mercedes-Benz Experience by RBM of Alpharetta/Facebook

In recent years, consumer habits with regard to car shopping have changed. Not only are more and more people buying cars online, as popularized by Tesla, but they also may want to learn about potential new cars and brands without committing to a purchase immediately. Porsche opened a series of studios globally in recent years, including several temporary pop-ups. Lucid also announced plans for less permanent pop-up showrooms in America to promote its Air sedan without incurring the costs of traditional dealerships.

The pandemic also led to supply shortages, encouraging more automakers to create leaner dealership environments, especially since so many customers now conduct research online.

Interestingly, BMW is set to implement a direct-sales model in Europe but not in the US, although we wouldn't be surprised if this approach changes in line with customer tastes.

2021-2023 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Front View Mercedes-Benz

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