Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 20

20

* F E B R U A R Y 2020

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS CANADA

BEST PRACTICES

Policaro
BMW enlisted
Ferris Rafauli,
the Oakville,
Ont.-based
architectural
designer who
counts Toronto
rapper Drake
among his
clients.

SPOTLIGHT

In addition to being a waiting room,
the Bavaria Lounge at Policaro
BMW in Brampton is used for
exclusive events.
P H O TO : C O D Y B O K S H O WA N

PHOTO: POLICARO BMW

SHOW

A WAITING ROOM BUILT FOR

Designed as an exclusive club for elite customers -
cementing loyalty and attracting affluent new buyers - spaces
like it could be the antidote to a softening Canadian luxury market
By STEPHANIE WALLCRAFT
TORONTO CORRESPONDENT

An optional upgrade to an Experience
Plus membership, costing $795 per year,
adds catered meal service at the lounge, premium detailing, a 72-hour priority valet service guarantee and winter tire storage.
Brynn Winegard, a Toronto-based retail
and marketing expert, said premium spaces such as the Bavaria Lounge are key to
attracting high-end customers to brick-andmortar stores.
"What we talk about [as] best practice
is creating what is called 'being spaces,'"
Winegard said. "Holt Renfrew has done this,
Nordstrom does this, Microsoft does this,
Apple does this to some extent. What it is, is
a circumstance in their retail environment
where their consumers can just go and be.
The idea is effectively that that would drive
foot traffic."

LUXURY LETHARGIC
A BMW DEALERSHIP

in Brampton, Ont., has created a
premium lounge and membership
experience that is generating loyalty and referral business from a subset of high-income customers, say
brand executives.
While all BMW dealerships are
required to create a lounge-style
space for their premium customers, Policaro BMW, about 50 kilometres west of downtown Toronto,
exceeded those requirements with
its Bavaria Lounge, said Kevin
Marcotte, national manager of
i, M and special vehicles for BMW
Canada.
"Their Bavaria Lounge ... was
part of their vision when they
began planning Policaro BMW,"
Marcotte said. "It is a space where
high-luxury customers can enjoy
the ultimate premium ownership
experience."
The lounge, which was integrated into the second floor of Policaro
BMW when it was built in 2016, features granite countertops, contemporary furnishings, a bar, a golf
simulator and connected flat-screen
TVs. The space was designed by
Oakville, Ont.-based architectural designer Ferris Rafauli, who
designed the Sher Club - the
exclusive, members-only space in
Toronto's Air Canada Centre that
was opened by Toronto rapper
Drake.

In his research before opening
Policaro BMW, Dealer Principal
Francesco Policaro discovered
that "it's almost like there's
two different classes"
of BMW customers. The lounge
caters to higher-end customers.
PHOTO: POLICARO BMW

EXCLUSIVE ACCESS
That star-power connection
drew customers to the dealership
as soon as it opened, said Dealer
Principal Francesco Policaro.
"With [Ferris's] name behind
it, being a new store, we got a lot
of premium customers calling in
requiring vehicles, directly from
Ferris's clientele," Policaro told
Automotive News Canada.
"To have a high-end design-

er behind it [provided] business-to-business marketing."
Lounge access at all BMW locations is restricted to customers purchasing the brand's most high-end
products: the 6-, 7- and 8-series cars;
M performance vehicles; X6 and
X7 crossovers; and the i8 plug-in
hybrid coupe. The lounge reflects
expectations of people shopping in
these premium segments, Policaro
said.
"Prior to opening the dealership,
I did a lot of research in regards to
BMW clientele because this was
our [group's] first BMW dealership.
One of the things I learned was that
it's almost like there's two different classes of customers. A 3-series
customer is very different than a
7-series customer.
"The idea was to provide more
of a premium service to these elite
customers."

Luxury sales in Canada are under pressure. According to the Automotive News
Data Center, BMW brand sales were down
6.1 per cent in 2019 compared with 2018,
while the overall luxury segment fell 4.5 per
cent. Across the board, new-vehicle sales

LOUNGE ... AND MORE
Customers receive access to the
lounge plus valet home or office
pickup for service appointments,
basic detailing, courtesy vehicles
equivalent to their own and invitations to dealership-hosted events
such as track days or wine tastings.
Retail and marketing expert Brynn
Winegard says spaces such as the
Bavaria Lounge are important to getting
high-end customers into showrooms.
PHOTO VIA BRYNN WINEGARD

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Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2

Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - 28
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F1
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F2
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F3
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F4
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F5
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F6
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F7
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F8
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F9
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F10
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F11
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F12
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F13
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F14
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F15
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F16
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F17
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F18
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F19
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F20
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F21
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F22
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F23
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F24
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F25
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F26
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F27
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F28
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F29
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F30
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F31
Automotive News Canada - February 2020 - v2 - F32
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