First Reviews: Staff Loves Redone Car Dealership

Mazda’s retail look goes from revolution to evolution.

Steve Finlay, Senior Editor

March 16, 2016

2 Min Read
Darrowrsquos Mazda store features muted blackandwhite color scheme natural materials and chrome Mazda signage
Darrow’s Mazda store features muted black-and-white color scheme, natural materials and chrome Mazda signage.

The Russ Darrow Group redid its Mazda dealership with customers in mind, but an immediate reaction from staffers gives it five stars.  

“Everyone’s morale boosted 1,000%,” says Mike Darrow, president of the Darrow Group, No.96 on the WardsAuto Megadealer 100, with total revenues of $520.7 million.

As for car consumers, he adds: “We’re very excited about our renovation and look forward to providing our new and returning customers the best in sales, service and personnel.”

The Milwaukee store is among the first Mazda dealerships in the U.S. to do the redesign using blueprints from the automaker’s latest retailing image program.

It is the second redesign in 12 years. The previous one, called Retail Revolution, featured a building-block look with radiant green, orange and blue accents.

The new one, dubbed the Retail Evolution, includes a muted black-and-white color scheme, natural materials and chrome Mazda signage.

“It embodies the spirit and direction of the Mazda brand,” Darrow says.

The intent is to provide a welcoming atmosphere through an open-concept floor plan and an expanded and refurbished customer lounge with technology features such as multiple-device charging stations and free Wi-Fi.

Digital displays provide continuous product and lifestyle images. Darrow installed a lift to display two additional cars in the 7-car showroom.

“We are focused on providing our customers the best car-shopping and service experience by creating a refreshed and welcoming atmosphere,” Darrow says.

The redesign also carves out individual work stations for salespeople. “Now customers are more comfortable in private, glass-enclosed offices, and new technology allows us to show them extra features on video screens,” Darrow says.

The store hired six additional employees because of the expansion.

The first dealership built off the Mazda Evolution program is Mazda of Everett in Seattle, WA.

The 1,000-employee Darrow group is based in Menomonee Falls, WS, and turns 50 this year. It owns and operates 23 Wisconsin dealerships in Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, Waukesha, Wauwatosa, West Bend and Greenfield.

It represents Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Toyota, Scion, Honda, Nissan, Kia, Mazda, and Mitsubishi. Other Darrow businesses include a nationwide fleet and leasing service and an in-house financing company.

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