MOVING A DEALERSHIP INTO A MALL
President, Prestige Auto Group
When Jim Jiwani told fellow dealers that he was planning to move a flagship store into West Edmonton Mall, “they though I was out of my mind.” After all, shopping centres weren’t exactly thriving in the age of online retailing. But the 67 yearold president of Prestige Auto Group saw mutual benefits from relocating his Edmonton Toyota dealership into one of Canada’s premier shopping and tourist destinations. The synergy between West Edmonton Mall, with 32 million visitors a year, and the dealership was natural, especially given the demise of traditional anchor tenants such as Sears, said Jiwani.
The mall provides an on-site customer base for the dealership, he said, noting that the centre also employs 12,000 people. “If their cars need servicing, they can drop them off at the dealership, go to work and pick them up at the end of the day.”
The move in mid-October makes West Edmonton Mall Toyota the only full-service dealership located inside a shopping centre, for now. And it positions Prestige Auto Group at the leading edge of a new trend in automotive retailing.