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Melbourne Mercedes me store to open November

It's all about me: Melbourne's second tallest building will house Australia's first Mercedes me store as part of the Grollo Rialto Tower redevelopment, following in the footsteps of the first store in Hamburg, Germany.

Australia’s only Mercedes-Benz brand store secures Melbourne CBD spot

Mercedes-Benz logo22 May 2017

By DANIEL DeGASPERI

THE first and only Mercedes me brand store set for Australia has now been confirmed to open at the Melbourne CBD’s Rialto Tower in November, with a focus on good coffee and food aimed at accurately reflecting the city’s vibe.

Mercedes me brand stores exist in Hong Kong, Milan, Hamburg and Tokyo, and are themed to each city as a way of connecting people with the German luxury brand without being a specific sales-focused destination.

Confirming to GoAuto that Mercedes me was set to open within six months, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific public relations and product communications manager Jerry Stamoulis said the street corner on the first two floors of the Rialto Tower at 101 Collins Street, Melbourne, has been reserved for the store.

“We were able to secure quite an iconic spot, which is the Rialto building, which is the new centre of Melbourne now,” Mr Stamoulis explained.

“If you look at Spring Street through to Docklands, that area is the new centre of Melbourne. The front of that site, they’re creating a new façade. The corner part of the façade, will be two levels. That will be the Mercedes me store.”

According to Mr Stamoulis “there is no set guideline for every market” about how a Mercedes me store should look, but the consistent focus of all was to have a flexible entertaining space that was unique to the particular market.

“If you go to Milan, it’s fashion based, it’s set in the fashion strip of Milan,” he continued.

“If you go to Hong Kong, the Mercedes me store is more of a shopping mall. At this stage, there’s only one planned for Australia (so) it’s really important that it ticks a lot of Melbourne boxes, but also what you would expect something from Australia.

“The type of store that we want to create is something that captures, I guess, the local feel and culture of the city. We think that what we’re planning to do in Melbourne, we’ll be able to do that with excellent food, what we think will be the best coffee in Melbourne, which is a tall claim (but) we’re hoping to have that.”

Mr Stamoulis said that the space would become increasingly important for Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific to use for functions such as the annual Formula One Grand Prix.

“The space has been designed to be very flexible,” he continued.

“There will be a small conference area. There will be enough space for up to two vehicles, but the entire space can be cleared to become a function space.

“This is the beauty of the way that we’re designing it. It can be anything we want it to be, so long as it fits within the walls. The way the set-up could change weekly, it could change monthly, depending on what’s happening.”

He said the entirety of the space would be open to the public, but there was no specific “initial pitch” to those wandering into a Mercedes me store.

“There could be people walking into Mercedes me store and not be interested in anything to do with Mercedes-Benz,” Mr Stamoulis added.

“It’s not going to be a place where we’re simply trying to sell merchandise (and) there won't be any private area. This is really a way for people that want to interact with our brand. Also, people who may never have considered either purchasing or interacting with the Mercedes-Benz brand to do it in a space that’s non-intrusive to their lifestyle or their buying patterns or whatever it may be.

“There are (also) close to 4500 people who occupy the Rialto, so there will be opportunities to ... if you just want to walk in and get a coffee, you’ll be able to do that and get back to work.”

Final details for this, the eighth Mercedes me store to open globally, were still being finalised, but Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific will reveal the final details and design of the store in September ahead of its November debut.

“I think we really won't know the final agenda for how it will work as we get very close to it, and I think even from launch of Mercedes me store, 12 months later it could look very different,” Mr Stamoulis added.

“We’re still working on the final details … as we get a lot closer to the final build and the concept of how it will work. (But) we’re confident that the quality of the food and coffee will hit the nail on the head.”

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