The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many aspects of people’s lives to change, and dealerships are being forced to change as well. Dealerships are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in their own way, but one Toyota dealership in Florida is making its bet with a pop-up shop. Here’s a look at that Toyota pop-up and why similar pop-ups may be here to stay.
The changing landscape of retail
It’s no secret that more and more customers have been shopping online every year, and the pandemic has only accelerated that trend. With more people shopping online than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s caused many customers, as well as businesses, to rethink how they approach retail in general.
Like AAA Flag wrote, thousands of businesses across the U.S. are expected to permanently close as a result of the pandemic. While it’s unknown how many of those businesses will be car dealerships, it’s quite likely that many dealerships will be a part of those closures. Still, pandemic or not, people need cars, and one way or another, automakers will need to get their cars to customers.
On top of that, unlike many other products, cars are something that customers generally want to see and touch for themselves before they commit to the purchase. While it’s possible that some customers will buy a car without ever having to test drive it, most folks will prefer to see the car in person before signing on the dotted line. That’s why it’s unlikely that dealerships will ever truly go away, but at the same time, dealerships have to adapt to the pandemic.
A look at Toyota’s pop-up store
That’s where pop-up stores come in handy, according to AAA Flag. Pop-up stores, which were very trendy before the pandemic for things like the food or fashion industry, could make a splash for the auto industry in these trying times as well. Pop-up stores, unlike a dealership, are not supposed to be a long-term fixture, and as a result, whoever is renting out the space won’t need to commit to any long-term leases.
Additionally, AAA Flag wrote that pop-up stores can easily fulfill the safety precautions that state or local governments require businesses to abide by. And of course, pop-up stores will provide customers with that in-person experience that many people need. As a result of these factors, in Miami, a Toyota dealership created a pop-up store to show off and sell the latest 2021 models of Toyota cars, according to AAA Flag.
This Miami Toyota pop-up looks like a regular dealership from the outside, but it has the benefit of being located somewhere where customers wouldn’t expect a dealership to show up. This is one of the other benefits of pop-ups for dealerships, and it could be why there may be more similar pop-ups in the near future.
Is this an effective way to sell cars?
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Since this Miami Toyota pop-up is so new, it’ll be a while before anyone knows how well it did in terms of sales. That being said, since, according to AAA Flag, the retail space was rented out at a discount, it’s likely that the pop-up will be profitable in the end.
Furthermore, according to Storefront, car pop-ups are an effective way to sell cars because they are more unique than the regular dealership that most drivers are familiar with. Not only do these pop-ups show up in unexpected places, but they also typically show up in areas that aren’t saturated with ads about other cars.
That said, Toyota isn’t the only company doing these pop-ups, as Tesla has done such stores for years now. However, with this Miami pop-up, it may be the first of many pop-ups from the more traditional automakers.