Over a year after the last domestic car dealership left San Francisco, Ford is hoping to gain a foothold in the Bay Area again with a series of “pop-up” showrooms.
“Pop-up” shops are short-term retail spaces located in trendy areas – often times, the temporary nature of the store is also a way to have some presence in an area where a long-term rental agreement would be too expensive. And in a market like San Fransico, where rents are sky high and local consumers are firmly in the “import camp”, a pop-up showroom might not be such a bad idea.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Ford is using the pop-up concept in San Francisco as part of an ongoing project this past year. Ford has been renting vacant spaces for 30 days once per quarter and placing vehicles along with experimental marketing efforts to help win over Bay Area residents, as the WSJ outlines below
The store that opens Thursday will be film-themed. People who drift into the store can do a casting call for chance for a role in an independent movie Ford is sponsoring. Other shops offered fitness classes, cooking classes and competitions and art galleries, said Travis Calhoun, who handles Ford marketing in the Western U.S.
Ford says that sales in the Bay Area are up 17 percent year-to-date, though they have a long way to go before catching up to the likes of Toyota, Hyundai and Honda. Of course, there’s one problem with the pop-up store concept; you can’t actually buy a Ford at any of the locations, and consumers will have to go to Marin County or Oakland to buy one.