In partnership with Rockar, Jaguar Land Rover are launching a new digital retail store; accompanying dealership set to open at Westfield Stratford in October

Jaguar Land Rover is launching a new digital retail store in partnership with Rockar, which already works with Hyundai to offer a similar service.

The Coventry-based car maker will offer customers the option to buy their car entirely online, accompanied by a dealership at Westfield Stratford, London where customers will be greeted by so-called ‘angels’ who are described as “non-selling product experts”.

According to JLR, the new service has been developed “in response to changing demands from its customers”.

The 15 ‘Angels’ can offer advice as well as help customers use the in-store configurators and show them around six display cars, which will be both Jaguar and Land Rover models. They are then able to complete their purchase on the accompanying website – in store or at home.

However, JLR adds that there is no need to visit the physical store, as the website allows customers to browse models, book test drives, specify your car, arrange finance and trade in your car.

The digital offering will launch in early September alongside a service centre near Stratford which will prepare new cars for delivery and manage part-exchanges. The Westfield Stratford store is due to open in early October.

When asked why JLR chose Westfield Stratford as a location, a spokesman said: “The Stratford area was already an open point in our retail network, and there is clearly exciting potential around the Westfield shopping complex, so we have the right opportunity, in the right location, at the right time, with the right partner.”

The car marker would not disclose predicted targets for online purchases of its models.

Rockar’s previous experience with Hyundai has found that 54% of its buyers have been women and the average age of customers has been 39 years old. It has also seen 60% of buying customers leaving the store and completing purchases online later.

JLR boss Jeremy Hicks said: “Our retailers are investing £1bn in the UK network and our partnership with Rockar presents some of the incremental new, innovative solutions that we are introducing to engage and service our customers.”

Rockar’s founder Simon Dixon added: “At Rockar, we’ve turned new car buying on its head and created a whole new way of buying a car. Our research has revealed that customers in today’s digital age are looking for an easier way of buying cars, more aligned to how they shop for their clothes, foods and gadgets.”

Hyundai launched its digital car buying service in conjunction with Rockar in November 2014, supported by a physical site at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. Following its success, the Korean brand opened a second Rockar-branded store in Westfield Stratford – the same location as JLR’s upcoming store.

Read more:

Is Rockar the future of the car dealership?

Hyundai boss: car sales on the cusp of a revolution

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22 August 2016
Well, these Rockar guys certainly seem to be flavour of the month. There aren't many sales channels that can publicly declare 'this isn't about sales' and win clients - but I suppose car makers are prone to throwing cash at this sort of thing. I'm sceptical about how long it will last.

22 August 2016
The Hyundai dealership doesn't seem to have been a spectacular failure. Tesla are quantifying success as the industry copying them and I suspect this will be the case here as well.

22 August 2016
Normal dealerships aren't about sales either. All they do is some pointless 'qualification' and then go to their manager to get a price. No one builds a pipeline: it's all reactive business. You could feasibly get a monkey to do it which is why they do.

22 August 2016
Search online for the best price for the car you wish to buy/lease. Send best price to dealer and ask them to match it (or to beat it if you're a little more mercenary than me). Go with the best price...

Besides, if I went to a shopping centre to buy a car with my wife, any savings made buying the car would soon be negated by her buying shoes...

22 August 2016
Angels? Super brains? Somebody on drugs and/or underestimating the intelligence of their customers? It's a shame that they can't even produce a website without spelling and grammatical errors...

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