DETROIT -- At Sterling Mazda, the first thing a shopper sees is the "jewel box." The jewel box is a two-story vehicle display inside the dealership that can be seen from the road.
It's a dramatic change for Sterling Mazda, which moved from a converted furniture store. And it's a key part of Mazda's Retail Revolution store design, which creates a low-key sales environment - including an Internet cafe - where customers can relax while shopping.
Sterling Mazda of Sterling Heights, Mich., last week became the eighth Mazda dealership to adopt the Retail Revolution model.
The redesign cost a hefty $2.4 million, or about $160 per square foot for the 14,885-square-foot store. To put that in context, renovation costs for other dealerships range from $65 to $200 per square foot depending on brand and size.
Mazda North American Operations expects to have 25 Retail Revolution dealerships this year, and 45 more are in various states of development. Mazda has 701 U.S. dealerships.