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SEAT, London

For our final London based store review we cross the capital once more to visit the largest shopping centre in Europe, Westfield London in White City. It’s hard to believe that this retail phenomenon has been trading for ten years. With its new 740,000 square foot second-phase expansion it looks and feels every bit as sensational as it did at its inception. Our next creative contender is housed within this new wing. Whilst it is not the first of its kind, this recently launched flagship is nonetheless an excellent example of innovation using cutting edge technology and a relaxed sales approach in order to win new business. SEAT launches on the ground floor of this shopping mecca with a cunning new concept. It’s no surprise this approach to car retailing has really taken off; the stores look amazing and epitomise the car of the future, even if the model in this store isn’t an electric supercar. Plus, undoubtedly they also benefit from the increased footfall that contemporary retail and leisure destinations attract.

With much inspiration derived from its Spanish heritage, SEAT elevates the everyday car to art status. The walls are brilliant white, ergonomically shaped and moulded all around. It has a highly minimal feel with just three cars on display and very little in the way of point of sale or signage to detract from the product. The pared back interior allows the cars to shine, however quirky references to its Mediterranean roots are present throughout. The flooring changes as you move through the store from mosaic, to cobbles, to stone. A full size olive tree offers a respite from the stark brilliance of the space and is equipped with orange, mosaic seating where you can ponder before committing to a very expensive purchase. The tree adds an element of nature and the vibrant mosaic brings an element of the warmth and depth of colour associated with Spain.

Copper slatted panels, which span the full height from floor to ceiling, create another layer of hues and intrigue with glimpses into life in balmy Barcelona that enhance their muted surroundings. The integral LED lighting plays homage to sunnier climes and dips and lifts to symbolise the passing of clouds overhead.

Futuristic display signs are positioned beside each car with the minimum, necessary sales information. Digital screens break up the organic nature of the store and help you to navigate the car’s full specification details. Towards the back, a wall of wing mirrors that showcases the paint options creates an attractive and eye catching display feature. The connectivity bar, also located towards the rear, allows customers to interact with the brand’s latest in-car technology and an impressive experience centre permits you to test drive a range of SEATs immediately.

There is very little to delineate the shop from the mall so it is very easy to find yourself stepping over the threshold and browsing the vehicles, which is where the real difference lies. SEAT provides a calm, unpressurised environment having a serious lack of sales assistants, which allows you to fully immerse yourself in the brand at your own pace. Guided by online research, as with everything these days the internet affords customers the knowledge, shoppers merely need to revel in the experience to formulate their buying decisions.

Green Room Design has created the ultimate state of the art flagship for this car brand and cleverly incorporated a welcome kiosk outside on the mall to further maximise footfall. This is an intuitive interior tailored to a savvy market.



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