The Aston MartinÂ Cygnet was just the beginning.
For those who thought the luxury automaker’s now-defunct rebadged Toyota city car was a weird idea (and that includes just about everyone),Â just wait. Aston Martin is now eager to sell you anything â€”Â your clothes, your baby stroller, and even your house.
The automaker just opened a retail store in one of London’s ritziest neighborhoods, tempting shoppers with every article you’d need to live the Aston Martin lifestyle. Well, not everything, but CEO Andy Palmer wants to see to that.
According to Bloomberg, the company’s Mayfair shopping district outlet sells a range of consumer goods, including fine china, a baby stroller, or weekend bags. (The stroller retails for $3,980, which could land someone a really decent used Cygnet.) The automaker, which is still independent and thus financially vulnerable, wants to expand its brand beyond luxury sport coupes.
â€œWouldnâ€™t it be great if youâ€™re down in a luxury harbor somewhere staying in an Aston Martin apartment, with your Aston Martin parked in the car park, and your Aston Martin boat harbored outside,â€� Palmer told Bloomberg at yesterday’s shop opening.
He’s not kidding. The first Aston Martin yacht sails to its first customer later this month.
A look inside No. 8 Dover Street – the newly opened Aston Martin brand experience boutique in Mayfair #AMArtOfLiving pic.twitter.com/W2GZGCnv49
â€” Aston Martin (@astonmartin) September 2, 2016
Selling branded merchandise is a growing trend among luxury automakers. Ferrari wants people to buy its lineup of swag, so why not Aston Martin? In Britain especially, the brand is already associated with the Savile Row suits and other designer duds worn by a DB5-driving Sean Connery. The connection is there.
Ferrari saw some backlash from fans and owners who didn’t like the brand cheapened by branded ball caps, but Palmer isn’t worried. First off, there aren’t many ball caps in the store.
â€œThere is clearly a place for fans of the brand â€”Â they go into our dealer and they buy a t-shirt and thatâ€™s fine,” he told Bloomberg. “But this is an expression of what Aston stands for.â€�
Aston Martin wants its finances in order before it issues an IPO, and has a plan to return to profitability by 2018. Meanwhile, Palmer absolutely loves Brexit, because the lowered currency boosts the amount of money coming in from non-British sales.
â€œWhether it helps in the two years from now when we actually make an exit â€”Â if thatâ€™s when it is â€”Â I donâ€™t know, but right now the weak pound is wonderful,” he said.
[Image: Aston Martin]