CarLotz has expanded beyond the borders of Virginia and North Carolina with the opening its first location in Florida on Monday.
The Tampa store is the sixth location for the Richmond, Va.-based used-vehicle consignment business, which launched in 2011 and expanded from the Virginia capital city to Chesapeake, Va; Midlothian, Va.; Greensboro, N.C.; and Charlotte, N.C..
CarLotz began as a consumer consignment business, but later expanded to offer retail remarketing for commercial consignors . In that line of business, leasing companies, fleet management companies, banks and dealers utilize CarLotz to sell cars to retail consumers.
Its latest location is 10,000 square-feet and should be able house close to 300 vehicles and include reconditioning services, the company said. There are initial plans to hire as many as 20 full-time sales, administration and reconditioning employees at the Tampa store.
The location officially opened for business Monday and is planning to host a formal grand opening this quarter once upgrades to the retail center are completed.
“We’re excited to expand the CarLotz footprint and bring our unique retail experience to the Tampa Bay area,” chief executive Michael Bor said in a news release.
“We’re looking all over the country to expand our business, and while we plan to open stores in many new states, Florida and, in particular Tampa, felt like the right fit for our first step into larger markets,” he said.
In the same release, CarLotz director of sales operations John Foley said: “Tampa has been incredibly welcoming. We have a unique business model that makes it easy for us to connect with the community because we can offer a different car-buying and -selling experience.
“CarLotz sellers make thousands more than trade-in value, and buyers save 10 to 20 percent versus traditional retailers, so the auto consignment concept creates a win-win for buyers and sellers. We also offer our car buyers a noncommissioned, transparent pricing model that removes the pressure from a traditional car-buying experience. We’re thrilled by the opportunity to bring this model to Tampa,” Foley said.
This news follows a $30 million round of equity capital funding announced in September, which the company said would be put toward expansion.
Bor said at the time that CarLotz planned to add at least five locations a year to meet the demands of commercial consignor customers with heavy volumes of vehicles for the company to remarket at retail in places like Florida, the Mid-Atlantic, New England, Illinois, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and California.
“Based on feedback from our commercial accounts and extensive discussions with them on where their vehicles are located and where they’re having difficulty remarketing, or getting appropriate pricing on their vehicles, it became very apparent that we should have these locations in key markets all around the country so that we can serve our national accounts at a national level,” Bor said in a September phone interview.