Barnetts opens Dundee Waterfront’s new design showcase

Published

26th February 2016

A state-of-the-art building featuring world-class design has opened on Dundee’s Waterfront – Chamber member Barnetts presents the Volvo Retail Experience (VRE).

Barnetts Volvo’s new customer-focused, Scandinavian-inspired showroom, the first in Scotland, exhibits the very best of Swedish design.

The new showroom features cutting-edge style and continues the long tradition of innovation and class-leading service which began when founder Bob Barnett began selling Volvos in the city’s Seagate in 1965.

While it may be Swedish cool on the outside, the story is very much a warm welcome inside in more ways than style.

In the first major shift of Volvo’s showroom style for 10 years, the new Volvo Retail Experience (VRE) concept sees 40% of the showroom transformed into a ‘living room’ with Scandinavian-designed furniture for customers to relax on, free wifi and Swedish treats and coffee. The remaining 60% becomes the ‘street’ displaying Volvo’s new car range.

The ‘living room’ features a carefully-curated palette of colours, textures and natural materials. High-end design domestic furniture, lowered ceilings and dimmed lighting invite customers to relax.

If you dosed off on a sofa and woke up you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a five-star Stockholm hotel.

What’s this about? Improving customer service, persuading customers to stay and relax or work.

Fifty years have gone by since Barnetts began representing the Volvo brand, but the proud link with the marque has been passed on to Paul, the current Chairman of Barnetts Motor Group, and son of the founder.

He has overseen the introduction of Volvo’s latest retail showroom concept to the city, continuing a passion for bringing the best in customer experience to Barnetts buyers which included creating the first Volkswagen ‘VRC2 Concept’ showroom in the world at Riverside in December 2008 and empowering Barnetts Volkswagen staff to solve customer problems themselves without referring to managers.

Talking about the new Volvo experience, Paul said: “We’re very proud to be investing in the city once again through both this new showroom and the continued employment and training of more than 150 staff.

“It’s part of a £1m investment in the site turning the multi-franchise site at Riverside Drive, Dundee, into a state-of-the-art showcase for the future of car retailing. Further plans for this year include a customer handover centre utilising hi-tech 3D projection mapping as well as a car photography studio.

“I’ve grown up alongside the Volvo brand, it’s very close to my heart as well as being a key part of the business. I’m really excited about how in our Volvo 50th anniversary year the new showroom improves the total customer experience in so many ways and can’t wait to hear directly from our customers what they think of it.

“Even if you just want to have a look, please come along and join us in our journey into the future of premium Swedish car retailing.”

To see the Volvo concept video which inspired the new showroom as well as a time lapse video of its construction, go to the Barnetts Volvo Facebook page at facebook.com/dundeevolvo 

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