Zoning Amendment Proposal Could Bring Car Dealership to CF Masonville Place Mall
A proposal has been submitted to the London City Council that could allow for the opening of a car dealership inside CF Masonville Place, one of the city’s largest shopping malls. The proposal, put forth by Cadillac Fairview, the company that owns the mall, seeks to create an “automotive sales boutique” within an existing vacant unit.
Unlike traditional car dealerships, the proposed car shop would be a smaller, more streamlined showroom located within a storefront. According to retail expert Michael LeBlanc, car companies are adopting new strategies for bringing their products to market. Instead of large dealerships, they are opting for experience stores where customers can interact with and learn about the vehicles firsthand.
While the concept of a car sales boutique inside a mall is new for London, it is not uncommon in the retail sector. Other malls, such as Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre and CF Sherway Gardens, already have similar automotive boutiques.
The proposed location for the automotive sales boutique at CF Masonville Place is on the lower level near Richmond Street. However, the exact tenant has not been disclosed.
LeBlanc believes that car boutiques in malls are a reflection of changing retail trends. Rather than focusing solely on making immediate sales, brands see these stores as a way to expose customers to their products and create a unique shopping experience.
For mall owners, the addition of car boutiques offers a fresh and exciting attraction for shoppers. However, LeBlanc warns that malls should be cautious about overdoing these “brand-forward” experience stores and recommends having only a handful.
For consumers, car boutiques provide a more relaxed and casual environment to explore and learn about big-ticket purchases without the pressure typically associated with traditional dealerships.
A public participation meeting is scheduled at the council’s planning and environment committee to discuss the proposal further.
Overall, the introduction of a car dealership to CF Masonville Place could bring a new twist to retail in London, providing an innovative and immersive automotive shopping experience for shoppers.