Sonic Automotive, a Fortune 500 Company, is the fourth largest auto dealer in the country, with over 100 dealerships in 14 states that represent more than 25 brands including luxury and imports. Looking to revolutionize the pre-owned auto industry, Sonic called on WD to innovate this highly profitable space through exemplary customer experience design and execution.
Based on the underlying theme of “every car deserves a happy owner,” WD designed the EchoPark store concept from the customer’s perspective: a contemporary, low-stress, pre-owned car shopping experience unlike anything in the automotive space.
The first store opened in November 2014 in the Denver market of Thornton, and another quickly followed in January. Two dozen additional locations are planned to break ground in late 2016 or early 2017 in Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina.
EchoPark is a shining example of how to differentiate the customer experience, by integrating innovative retail strategies from outside the auto industry. From a low-pressure sales strategy to fantastic technology, Sonic’s goal is to create customers for life.
WD is a strategic design partner, working closely with Sonic to refine and update the prototype in order to meet pro forma requirements. WD has also been named the AOR/EOR for the new locations.
Take a virtual tour of the original facility!
Read more about EchoPark in the media:
- Sonic Automotive, Inc. Reports Record Results
- 11 Retail Innovations
- An Inside Look At Sonic Automotive’s First Strictly Pre-Owned Dealership, EchoPark
- Analyst's story on Sonic experience
- "Sonic Automotive's bold shift to the future"
Charlotte Business Journal
- Close collaboration with Sonic Automotive’s market research team balanced ambitious retail strategy with functional needs of the store prototype.
- Digital strategy includes well-informed sales staff armed with tablets and other tools that help them pinpoint customer needs which enables them to be able assist consumers anywhere on the premises.
- Bright, contemporary colors, couches and welcoming conversation spaces encourage dialog about the buyer’s needs.
- Physical and digital integration encourage customers to shop at their own pace. The Imagine Bar features customer driven tablet stations in front of a 42-foot video wall. Shoppers can use the tablets to research vehicles EchoPark offers or any other automotive website.
- WD’s program managers were able to coordinate with other project partners to execute the first store with a stylish, inviting LEED-certified environment in just 18 months.
- We also produced comprehensive design details and guidelines for future store development, which allow for: reduced development time, maintenance of customer experience & brand standards and maintenance of facilities to efficiently to adapt to site specific requirements.