Melbourne will soon join the likes of Hamburg, Munich, Moscow, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing as it gets its very own 'Mercedes me' concept store, a new retail experience offered by the German brand that will showcase its vehicles and brand values in a non-sales environment.
Paid for and managed entirely by Mercedes-Benz Australia, the dealership-free experience at Mercedes me is meant to provide exposure to the brand for those that may have previously not had much experience with the automaker.
Although Mercedes Australia says the store is more about blending Melbourne’s iconic café culture with the brand’s lifestyle elements, it will still showcase a much smaller sample of its vehicles, with those that show interest referred to their closest dealership based on home address.
Located on the corner of King and Collins streets, the two-level building offers around 500sq of space with the ability to house around 180 people when required.
During the day it will operate as a café, powered by local coffee masters St ALi, whilst at night it will be a venue for functions that fit into the Mercedes lifestyle, such as food, design, fashion, motorsports, arts, and others.
The brand says the me store will offer exposure for Mercedes to a younger audience that it may currently not be communicating with.
Following an Apple store-like approach, none of the Mercedes-Benz brand experts are paid commission for vehicles they help sell, allowing a far more immersive experience of the brand and its vehicles without any sales pressure. According to Mercedes, the me store concept is about telling the rich history of the brand.
According to the general manager of the Mercedes me store in Melbourne, Simon Johnson, the data from other me stores shows sales attributed to experience of the associated stores, but even so, that is “not the prime purpose” of the stores, with Mercedes aiming to create new and future fans of the brand by providing a new experience and exposure.
Mercedes-Benz Australia boss Horst von Sanden told CarAdvice the local arm fought to get approval for the store in Melbourne from Germany once this ideal location was found.
“We fought for it, we had the opportunity and when we saw this location… we then pitched it to Germany… please approve.”
“As well as a place for current fans and customers to enjoy, Mercedes me store Melbourne opens up the Mercedes-Benz brand to people who may not have previously considered interacting with us or our vehicles.
“It’s a place where you can simply sit and enjoy some quality time in a beautiful environment, have a great coffee or something to eat, or engage with our brand like never before. It’s not a merchandise store or a dealership but an entirely new experience in Australia.”
The Mercedes me store opens its doors at midday on the third of November.