By on September 2, 2016

Aston Martin Vanquish. Picture courtesy Aston Martin

The Aston Martin 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), just wait. Aston Martin is now eager to sell you anything — 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.

Way beyond.

“Wouldn’t it be great if you’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,” 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.

 

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.

“There is clearly a place for fans of the brand — they go into our dealer and they buy a t-shirt and that’s fine,” he told Bloomberg. “But this is an expression of what Aston stands for.”

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.

“Whether it helps in the two years from now when we actually make an exit — if that’s when it is — I don’t know, but right now the weak pound is wonderful,” he said.

[Image: Aston Martin]

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20 Comments on “Aston Martin Will Sell You a House … and a Boat...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    Hey, it worked for Harley-Davidson.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      JimZ – Harley has been very successful tapping into the “live to ride/ride to live” wannabe crowd. I can’t see much of a market though for Aston Martin bandana’s and leather vests ;)

  • avatar
    VoGo

    OK, so I hate when people label someone a ‘poseur’ for buying a certain car. But if you are buying a hoodie with a Ferrari or Aston-Martin logo – and you don’t own the car – then isn’t that the definition of poseur?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Nobody thinks a 19 year old with a Ferrari ballcap and backpack actually owns one. For this person, I don’t think it counts as posing any more than wearing a jersey for your favorite sports team is posing.

      My father in law (a semi-retired lawyer) looks and acts rich enough that he could be a poseur with Farrari merchandise. It’s perfectly plausible that a guy who looks like him might have a Ferrari.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I don’t know what we’re defining as ‘posing’ now with branding. If you wear a disney world shirt are you promoting yourself as a shareholder in the company? I think wearing logos are an interesting fusion of both art and class, I mean think of how many folks walk around wearing more lowly car company hats and shirts and don’t own those cars/trucks. I know many folks who wore their ford hat proudly but drove away in their wife’s toyota.

      It’s clear that luxury carmakers see this as a way to become a ‘lifestyle’ brand that also sells cars at their core. Plus to be fair, it seems like AM is trying not to sell to the proles like us and instead cater to the 5%ers who will happily spend 5K in their stores on wildly overpriced and not-made-in-GB textiles and other goods.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I hope they’ve got a Pleeb Scanner at the door, to keep those with incomes under 300,000 GPB per year out of the store.

    Lexus is already doing this in Japan, so I don’t see much issue with Aston Martin doing it in England. It will attract the new money, as the old money would never set foot in such a garish display.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also occurs to me that they’re just branching out into clothes and housewares, like Ralph Lauren has done with their flagship locations and clubs.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Aston Martin is transitioning to a fashion brand ,which is a smart idea given niche high end cars aren’t a consistent revenue stream.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Sounds like he got this idea from the Republic of Samsung. “Won’t it be great, driving home to your Samsung apartment, in your Samsung car, from your Samsung job, with maybe a quick stop at the Samsung grocery store, paid for of course with your Samsung credit card.”

    “Wouldn’t it be great if you’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,”

  • avatar
    Luke42

    This is the same thing that Cadillac is trying to do with their talk about being a lifestyle brand.

    This is what Melody Lee was saying, and what the coffee shop was about.

  • avatar
    baconator

    “Put on my Fila sneaks and my Fila hat,
    and went downstairs to pet the feline cat”

  • avatar
    1audiofile

    Hey, a sucker is born every minute. The brand becomes the value even if the car is a no go. Look at Trump, he encouraged brexit. Maybe not the best outcome. But I guess there were a lot of suckers born that minute.

  • avatar

    And you all were complained about Cadillac. So European brands are allowed to do that American not? BTW head of Cadillac is also European, you know.

  • avatar

    We’ll see how much Mr. Palmer likes Brexit when he has to start paying for those AMG engines from Germany, to say nothing of the Chinese accelerator pedals.


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