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Shop View: V&F Auto

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V&F Auto
With a major remodel, Nicole Palange worked to create a comfortable, living room feel in her shop’s waiting room.

SHOP STATS: V&F Auto   Location: Agawam, Mass. Operator: Frank Palange Average Monthly Car Count: 404  Staff Size: 23  Shop Size: 8,200 sq ft Annual Revenue: $1.2 million

1. Living Room Feel in the Lobby

Roughly four years ago, V&F Auto purchased land near the shop to build a CARQUEST parts store. The former parts shop was remodeled, and expanded into what became the main lobby and waiting room. The mission now is to make customers feel welcome as soon as they walk through the door with a living room feel along the main wall. This is done with a comfy couch, two loveseats, a fireplace, and a large television, where customers can watch cable programs.

 

2. Neutral Colors

According to V&F’s vice president, Nicole Palange, the building was designed with a gray roof and sidingneutral colors that make customers feel at ease when walking into the shop. She designed the living room to have similar colors, with earth tones on the furniture. The fireplace was designed in a similar fashion, to match the earth tone theme, and provide warmth on cold New England days.

 

3. Comfortable Coffee Station

V&F Auto offers a variety of cold water bottles and Keurig coffee products for its customers. As a personal touch, the shop abandoned paper and styrofoam cups, and instead offers ceramic mugs with the shop’s logo. Palange says customers are often surprised to learn they can use these cups, and are even more surprised to learn they’re allowed to take them home.

 

4. Something for Everyone

If a customer doesn’t want to get cozy on the couch, they can sit at one of the high-top tables and relax with a coffee or a snack. There’s also a small table for kids in the corner, with a mat for them to play on. Every morning, the staff starts their popcorn machine to get the aroma wafting throughout the shop.

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