A second store for Gunther Volkswagen was designed to celebrate the heritage of the Volkswagen brand and to create an environment that celebrates the brand through products, graphics, and materials.
This celebration reinforces and strengthens the buying experience for new products by illustrating the lineage and continuity of products that support a lifestyle. The site layout also supports the duality of new and vintage vehicles. An event lawn is placed front and center as a “mini-Woodstock” where auto clubs can display cars, or concerts can happen for weekend customers.
A unique element in the design is the “heritage tunnel” that guides customers from the heritage presentation to the new car display. Within the tunnel, a large lifestyle art piece is displayed adjacent to a detailed timeline of Volkswagen’s history, which helps to bridge the brand story to support the new vehicle presentation. Within the new car showroom, the palette is cool and neutral, so as not to distract from the cars. A stacked display at the front of the showroom playfully displays vehicles to further highlight individual vehicles and their lines. Music, video screens, and a scent emitter are all in play to deliver a richly layered and interactive retail experience that engages all five senses. To help alleviate any potential anxiety within the sales process, the sales offices are created as personalized living rooms that are appointed with corner booths, heritage graphics, bamboo plants, and soft lighting to maximize customer comfort at the point of sale.
An event lawn, affectionately entitled “Mini Woodstock,” centers the site as the main focal point where feature vehicles reside. Concerts and car shows can occur within this space to create a buzz on-site to drive more traffic to the store. The organically formed car displays are bookended by “Flower Pads” to identify the extent of the Volkswagen site as they highlight pre-owned and new cars respectively. Reaction to the store has been overwhelmingly positive, as Gunther Volkswagen in Buford jumped to one of the top ten sales locations within the first six months of operation.