Plaza Pontiac-Buick-GMC has given residents of Omaha, Neb., a new activity for date night: indoor car shopping.
Customers can check out the interiors of 160 new and used vehicles in the dealership's 53,000-square-foot showroom until midnight every day.
“A lot of people like to go to dealerships after they're closed,” says co-owner Al Wittmann. “With our inventory indoors, we felt they needed to see the inventory and wanted to let them inside.”
In 2005, Plaza Pontiac-Buick-GMC purchased a former 116,000-square-foot Sam's Club store. To make shopping more convenient, Wittmann moved a third of his inventory inside.
After the dealership set up its showroom, sales rose 28 percent in 2006.
To build on its success, the dealership gave shoppers nighttime access in January. The vehicles remain unlocked so that customers can sit inside and browse at their leisure.
“Our problem is we're a single dealership competing against larger dealerships that have better economies of scale,” Wittmann says. “We wanted to make it different to stand out from the competition.”
The huge indoor showroom allows Wittmann's customers to go shopping regardless of Omaha's weather, which ranges from a low of 13 degrees in January to a high of 88 in July.