Car makers are struggling; we all know that. And most of those at the high end are struggling even more. So what to do? Hold on and pray seems to be the order of the day, but some makers are trying to diversify and tap in to other markets. Bentley, for example, has been using its under worked craftsmen to make furniture whilst others, like Ferrari, have been busy opening Merchandise stores.
And now Aston Martin has decided it’s time to play shopkeeper, so they have opened up a new merchandise store at the Nurburgring. And they’re in good company, as both Nissan and Ferrari have recently done the same.
But this is as much about the Nurburgring’s intention of becoming a leisure and business centre as it is about being a sales refuge for beleaguered car makers. But this is Aston Martin’s first foray in to proper merchandising, and the 2500 sq ft store has on offer the entire ‘Aston Martin Collection’, which includes luggage, accessories, clothing, gifts and the Aston Martin 007 Range. You can also get Hacket clothing, team wear and model cars. And who knows, they may even flog a car or two.
If successful, Aston Martin may well try emulating Ferrari and opening up stores elsewhere. Maybe they’ll have more luck selling trinkets than cars. But if it helps keep them afloat until the economic madness abates, who can blame them?