On a cold and gray winter day in Rhode Island, Paul Masse gets a warm feeling when he looks around the waiting area of his Buick-GMC store.
Customers lounge in leather chairs, sipping coffee and reading books, he says. Some gaze at flat-screen TVs. The kids' area is bustling.
"It's the middle of winter. The place should be nearly empty," Masse says. "But I'm excited because I've got customers in here enjoying themselves."
Masse, who also owns another Buick-GMC dealership and two Chevrolet stores in Rhode Island, says customers don't view their service visits as a hassle at the $3 million store he opened in October near the southern coast of Rhode Island.
Masse strictly followed Buick-GMC's new image program for the store, which he built on the site of a shuttered dealership he had acquired. It has an aluminum-composite black-and-silver entryway and leather chairs with brushed-silver feet. A glass wall looms behind the greeter's desk. Cream- and brown-colored porcelain tile covers the floor.