UK supermarket chain Wm Morrison is to start a joint venture with motor dealership Lookers, to supply cars through their retail outlets. Lookers will initially provide an Internet-linked booth and staff to take shoppers through the latest deals.
The venture will be the first time customers have been able to purchase cars in this way. Other high street chains are waiting for a change in the European Union rules this fall. The current regulations do not allow supermarkets to sell cars because they oblige car dealers to provide repair services as well.
Manchester-based Lookers will set up booths linked to its website look4cardeals.com, initially in three test stores in Bradford, Hillsborough and Oldham. Customers will be able to arrange test drives and financial packages as part of the service. Lookers hopes to roll out its booths throughout Morrisons’ 113 retail stores if the venture proves to be a success.
Fred Maguire, Lookers’ chairman, said: We know some customers are still wary of buying over the web – indeed they may not have access to it. Rather than wait for the market to develop, we are taking the Internet to the market.