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Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) car sales coming to a mall near you

young couple buying a new car
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The Eagers Automotive Ltd (ASX: APE) share price could be on watch tomorrow, following the circulation of plans to start selling cars at shopping centres and airports. The car sales conglomerate, formerly known as AP Eagers, closed down 2.2% today at a price of $13.87.

Cars in a mall, get ready for it

Reportedly, the Eagers conglomerate that delivered 10% of new cars sold in Australia last year plans to open showrooms in shopping centres by the end of this year. Multiple stores are being removed and made way for the supermarket-sized display area expected at the Indooroopilly shopping centre.

On top of this, Eagers will also begin construction of a 90,000 square metre complex near the Brisbane airport that will be accompanied by a 2.5-kilometre test track. The mega facility will also have over two dozen showrooms and service centres. This development would be one of the biggest in the world.

The airport facility is anticipated to be operational in 2023, with preparations already underway to begin construction.

The rationale behind this new approach explained by COO, Keith Thornton, is to engage potential customers in new ways in a stress-free environment. Adding, “The great thing about a shopping centre showroom is our customers are already going there.”

A shift in shopping centre utilisation

Following the aftermath of COVID-19 on traditional bricks-and-mortar stores, as well as the continued digitisation of shopping in general, businesses are finding new ways to adapt. It is becoming a common theme that shopping centres are shifting towards a more experiential destination.

Many shoppers probably weren’t thinking of trying their next car as part of the new mall experience, but who’s complaining?

AP Eagers share price snippet

It has been a solid 12 months for Eagers shareholders, witnessing the share price rise 51.4% over the period. It hasn’t been without its nail-biting times though. Shares in the auto group fell to a 52-week low of $2.50 in March, before steadily climbing to today’s $13.87 price point.

The company’s market capitalisation is now $3.64 billion.

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Motley Fool contributor Mitchell Lawler has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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