Mercedes-Benz will open more pop-up stores in the U.S. in the coming year as it experiments with brand environments focused less on pushing metal and more on engaging consumers.
The foray into experiential retail began with one pop-up store late last year in Atlanta, followed by a second store in suburban Miami's Aventura Mall, and a third location now planned for Chicago's Michigan Avenue.
Mercedes plans on opening one more store this year and then "doing way more of them, probably focused on new product launches," said Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler.
The new A class that arrives in U.S. showrooms this year will be a prime candidate for showcasing, since it is pitched at the younger demographic who might find the Apple Store-influenced pop-ups particularly appealing.
The stores operate typically for about two months and are intended to educate curious mall-goers on the Mercedes brand.
The environment is more laid-back than hard-sell, with a goal of making the brand more approachable and relevant to consumers who might never have considered a Mercedes.
Exler told Automotive News this year that the desire is "connecting with the customers." That connection is translating to sales.
"We are seeing an appreciable number of people who had not previously considered the brand, but who bought a Mercedes following a visit to the brand stores," a company spokeswoman said.