Next pens deal with Rockar to use excess store space as car showroom

Next Rockar

Next has penned a deal with motoring retailer Rockar that would soon give people the chance to shop for clothes and a new car within the same store.

The new retail partnership would see the fashion retailer transform excess space within its stores into a Rockar-style, digital-experience car dealership stores.

The first Rockar/Next collaboration is slated to open this spring within Next’s store at Arndale Shopping Centre, Manchester, although the specific car brand it would showcase has not yet been specified.

A planning application for the Arndale shop has been submitted to Manchester City Council for approval.

The store would be the fourth for the Rockar group, which was founded by ex-Dixon Motors and a Jamjar boss Simon Dixon in 2012.

“This is a really exciting project for us and we’re thrilled to have Next on board,” Dixon said.

“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.

“Sixty per cent of Rockar customers complete their car purchase at home via our 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.”

Dixon reportedly has plans to open a total of eight stores in prime shopping centres, across up to six franchises.

It opened its first store at Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre with Hyundai in November 2014, followed by another Westfield London shopping centre in December 2015.

Shortly after, Rockar opened its digital Jaguar Land Rover showroom in Westfield Stratford.

With Next possessing more than 500 stores around the UK, Rockar said the new partnership meant there were exciting possibilities for for both brands.

Rockar also received £5 million of investment from private equity firms Maven Capital Partners and NVM Private Equity in 2016, which will be used to expand its digital store and online retail model with other car brands.

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