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April 3, 2023

The Kia Flagship Store In Gangseo Is The Most High-Tech Showroom We've Ever Visited

Kia’s transformation goes beyond a new logo and tagline; it represents a new way of thinking that includes the way they deal with customers.

Since dealerships are a customer’s first physical touchpoint with the brand, Kia is seeking to uplift this with the roll out of their Global Space Identity or GSI 2.0. More than just a retail concept, GSI 2.0 aims to be more experiential. It’s meant to shift the mindsets of customers and provide them with a more meaningful and relevant experience with Kia.

In terms of design, the Kia’s GSI 2.0 takes the brand’s Opposites United design philosophy, and puts it into a dealership space. At first glance, the overall space looks as if it’s split into two different dimensions. In fact, it does have a Display Zone and a Customer Zone, each with a different spatial theme and color scheme. Where these seemingly opposing areas intersect, there runs a vivid red loop all the way across the store. This Infinite Loop unites the two spaces, expressing the energy that connects and contrasts the two.

Upon entry, there’s the Customer Zone and its minimalistic and natural sensibility. On purpose, the space is nothing like a traditional car dealership. Its use of wood tones radiates coziness, akin to a living room. This, according to Kia, is to initiate a new experience in the car purchasing journey, offering a kind of relaxation that makes customers feel at home.

From there, there’s the Display Zone with its high-tech and expansive feel. Compared to the earthy tones before, this space uses metallic surfaces and reflections for a more futuristic vibe. The use of achromatic or neutral colors also makes sure that Kia cars receive a person’s undivided attention.

Now, it’s a given that Kia dealerships around the world will adopt GSI 2.0, but Kia’s flagship store in Gangseo-gu, Seoul takes things a step further.

The company-owned retail space takes the Opposites United thinking and applies it at every step of a customer’s journey. It’s decidedly more futuristic with the use of smart devices, but it’s also more personal as well.

The Gangseo flagship store is also a place that reflects the latest trend: the ‘untact’ service. For example, visitors can make a reservation without a sales clerk hounding him by creating a digital ID called ‘Store Pass’ in the form of a QR code on the Kia website, and the kiosk provides information necessary for the store experience.

As soon as visitors enter the store, they face the 14.6m‒long signature media wall. Two 3D configurators are placed on the media wall to help customers freely experience Kia’s models in a virtual showroom. The media wall is divided into left and right depending on how customers control it, and it is possible to check the interior and exterior of the vehicle and options through the 32‒inch touch screen of the configurator. Customers can go in detail as to how the car looks in different lighting conditions or operate things like the doors, trunk, and lights. In another section, a wall of smart tablets shows off a digital color collection allowing visitors to see all the color options for every Kia vehicle.

In addition, the Gangseo flagship store operates a variety of theme‒based test drive programs called, Drive On. Based on the routes a customer will experience during his daily commute, the program will suggest one of several test routes with some lasting as long as an hour, for him to fully experience the capabilities of his desired Kia vehicle.

Because the Gangseo space is a fully operational dealership, customers can also have their cars serviced here as well. While that’s happening, they can either enjoy coffee prepared by robot baristas, or get creative with the Interactive Ground—a space where people can shoot images with the vehicles displayed in a virtual environment.

Under its new brand purpose, Kia aims to meet changing customer expectations about how they move, and how their movement impacts the world around them. Customers are increasingly seeking out flexible, environmentally conscious, and tech-laden forms of transformation. Yet, they seek experiences which are more customized. Kia’s Global Space Identity 2.0, which makes the car buying experience more emotional and powering, does just that.

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