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Motorpoint grows

Leading car supermarket Motorpoint hopes to open its fifth store – in the wealthy south east – this year.

The retail giant, which sells 30,000 vehicles per year from sites in Derby, Burnley, Glasgow and Newport, south Wales, is assessing the viability of three brownfield site locations around the M25.

If the process, including planning permission, is completed within a few months, Motorpoint would expect to open the new store before the end of 2006.

Motorpoint founder David Shelton says: “We are currently looking for a site near the M25 as this would strengthen our UK coverage. Although calls to our telesales centre and online enquiries are increasing, a good proportion of our customers still like to be able to visit a site, so a fifth site would be the natural progression to fulfil the needs of consumers living in the south east.”

Motorpoint believes it will be able to offer customers larger discounts on new vehicles in contrast to existing southern-based supermarkets, which it believes focus on the nearly-new market.

The company has doubled staffing at its Derby-based call centre with the introduction of a two-shift system to handle increasing customer demand.

The centre, which handles enquiries for all four sites, is responsible for selling 10,000 cars per year and receives an average of 500 calls a day. It now has 34 staff to cope with the high number of customers now willing to reserve or buy cars over the phone.

“If a customer has faith in the company they are buying from, then they are more likely to be comfortable buying over the telephone,” says Motorpoint’s online manager Jon Baird.

“More and more customers call our telesales centre first, many having seen a vehicle on our website or in one of our advertisements, and many will reserve their new vehicle over the phone before even visiting a site.”

Motorpoint launched its high-volume, low-profit-per-vehicle strategy in 1998 operating from one site in Derby selling 200 cars per month.

  • David Shelton has been shortlisted in the southern regional final of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, the winner of which will be announced on June 29. Previous winners include EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
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