Inside Bugatti’s glitzy London shop
Good news! Bugatti confirmed last night it is planning 29 new launches over the next few years. Bad news! They're shops.
Well, not shops as such, because Bugatti doesn't do ‘shops'. These are high-end retail outlets or boutiques, shrines to the opulence of the world's poshest car brand. And if the London one is anything to go by, we wouldn't recommend trying to get in if you carry your stuff about in an old supermarket plastic bag.
"Luxury super sports cars will always be our core business," CEO Dr Wolfgang Durheimer said at the opening, "but Bugatti also represents a very special luxury lifestyle. The stores will help grow Bugatti's worldwide visibility."
The London store, opposite Harrods in Knightsbridge, is the first of a planned 30, all of which are operated on a franchise basis.
Outlets in Tokyo, Doha and Dubai will follow next year, which gives you some idea of the brand's centre of gravity, although more Veyrons have been sold in London than anywhere else.
"You can be absolutely sure that we will be sticking to our basic principles," Durheimer added, when TG.com pushed him on the sometimes murky world of the ‘brand extension', "which is building the world's finest super sports cars."
Exactly what form the next Bugatti road car will take, following the aborted Galibier super limo, Durheimer wouldn't say. But something's definitely coming, and it isn't just a pair of blue shoes with a central seam like the one on a Type 57 Atlantic.
In the meantime, fill your - very expensive - boots in the Bugatti store. It's split into sections: the marble-floored, Tron-lite area that houses the Performance Luxury Collection, and the more aromatic and woody luxury bit that contains the Ettore Bugatti Collection.
There are clothes, bags, accessories, and Lalique crystal objets d'art. There will also be furniture. (Ettore's dad was a cabinet maker, apparently, so it's authentic.)
Other stand-out features include a three-metre aluminium arch that mimics the Bugatti horseshoe grille. Fortunately, it doesn't bing or make the sound of a 16-cylinder engine as you enter.
Try not to look too sheepish as you leave.
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