Group 1 Automotive has partnered with Spanish car maker Seat to open a shopping centre concept store. The OEM’s long-time franchise partner has established the ‘Seat Store’ at the popular Lakeside shopping centre in Essex. The store concept gives the OEM further coverage in the highly competitive London and M25 area, as well as access to Lakeside’s 26 million annual customers.

Buyers have the option of researching Seat’s product range via eight 22-inch digital info ‘hubs’, where they can also configure and explore financing options, arrange test drives and request trade-in valuations. Furthermore, 13 staff will be on hand to assist prospective buyers.

In a break from the norm test drives can be taken unaccompanied, while buyers not keen to wait too long for a specific variant will be offered a number of models available for delivery seven days from the time of order – subject to finance approval.