High street giant Next has signed a deal with Rockar that will lead to the pioneering car retailer opening digital store experiences within some Next branches.
Rockar has been shaking up car retailing by bypassing the traditional showroom model and opening digital store experiences in shopping centres, such as Bluewater and Westfield London and Stratford. It also has an online platform.
The first Next store to house one such digital experience will be the Manchester Arndale store, which is due to open this spring. It has not yet been revealed which car brand will be featured in the store; Rockar’s existing store experiences are partnerships with Hyundai and Jaguar Land Rover.
Rockar founder Simon Dixon said: “This is a really exciting project for us and we’re thrilled to have Next on board. Our collaboration is very aligned in terms of core values. Next is a true omni-channel business, so it makes sense that they would capitalise on the opportunity to offer something unique to their customers.”
He added that 60% of Rockar customers complete their car purchase at home via its online platform: “Soon, they’ll be able to begin their journey while on a shopping trip to Next, and we think that’s really compelling.”
Next has around 500 stores and this latest agreement taps into the movement towards experiential retail, which aims to encourage shoppers to spend more time and money in-store.
Rockar was founded by Dixon, a former boss of Dixons Motors and Jamjar, in 2012. In 2016 it received a £5m investment from private equity houses Maven Capital Partners and NVM Private Equity.