New FordStore opens in Manchester

Ford partners with Rockar and Next to change the way we shop for cars

Ford, which has the largest retail network of any car brand in the UK, is trying something new. In a partnership with high-street fashion retailer Next, it could soon have a presence in a city centre near you.

The partnership is being implemented by car marketing specialist Rockar, which claims to be "revolutionising the way in which cars are bought". It promises to move away from the impersonal nature of a car showroom, instead bringing cars and customers together in more familiar, comfortable surroundings.

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The pioneering FordStore in Manchester is opening in the Arndale Centre branch of Next. Five cars from the Ford range will be on display in the store, along with digital information display screens and 'Ford Hosts' on hand to answer questions. The emphasis is claimed to be more on providing advice than pushing for custom, allowing shoppers to relax in a 'library lounge space' with free Wi-Fi access and phone charging points. Potential customers are free to conclude a purchase from the comfort of home

If an enquiry develops into a potential purchase, shoppers can gain a part-exchange valuation for their existing car via 'dynamic valuation data', using Ford's 'buy online' platform. This was developed by Rockar and serves to guide potential Ford owners through the buying process. It even shows exactly how long buyers can expect to wait for their new car, based on the latest factory lead times. Test drives are available, too – demonstration runs leave from the Arndale Centre car park.

The Manchester FordStore is open now at the Arndale Centre branch of Next.

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