Realising Retail Potential

Art of the Automobile at Fareham Shopping Centre

The Centre Management Team at Fareham Shopping Centre in Hampshire recently gave the Space to trade the task of producing a display that would drive footfall to a quiet area of the centre and they came up with something a little different.

Visitors to Fareham Shopping Centre are quite used to seeing cars displayed on the mall from local car dealerships.  But not a mint condition 1995 Ford RS Cosworth.

Provided by local car dealership Hendy Ford, on loan from the Ford Heritage Museum – to many Ford fanatics the world over, the Escort RS Cosworth is the holy grail of Ford’s street-legal rally program.

Instantly recognisable by it rear spoiler, the Cosworth is a piece automotive art. If you look at any car, you need to realize that every little bit of it was designed by people, everything from the headlights and the body of the car, to the seats and dashboard, down to each screw and bolt holding the car together.

The definition of art is largely personal, but in the main, ‘Art’ consists of a deliberate action that evokes an emotional response. And the Cosworth on display at Fareham Shopping Centre certainly evoked response from the public.

The local newspaper published an article with the headline, ‘Petrol heads are urged to get down to Fareham Shopping Centre this week.’   There was also a lot of social media activity about the car with people sharing, commenting and tagging friends. Comments such as, ‘Good seeing an old skool classic on out on show’, ‘I want to go and see this’, and ‘That brings back happy memories’.

Steve French of Hendy Ford said, ‘the Cosworth proved a huge hit with visitors to the centre and we had lots of people taking photos of it and sharing them on social media.  As a local car dealership, we know how much people appreciate the older cars and rather than just displaying our newer models, we thought we’d bring this one along to evoke some memories, as well as a lot of car envy.  It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t sell it, as we had lots of enquiries about it.’

So is a car a piece of art?  It’s all down to the individual. As Gelett Burgess said, ‘I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like’.  And it seems with an increase of 9.3% footfall during the period of the promotion, the people of Fareham liked the Cosworth very much.

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