Located at the Group Lotus HQ, Hethel, UK, the new retail concept clearly demonstrates the reinvigorated identity of Lotus, one befitting the current and future collection of cars planned for 2013 and beyond. Part of a global strategy, the Hethel store is the first LOTUS ORIGINALS retail experience to open in Europe and finally gives customers the chance to try the collection before they buy having only been able to buy online since March 2011.
Commenting on the launch Group Lotus Director of Licensing and Merchandise Wiebke Bauer said: “It’s a very proud day for us today, it’s more than a simple store opening. One of the biggest challenges we have as a business, outside of selling cars, is to make the Lotus brand as accessible as possible. We have many fans out there in the world who aren’t necessarily in a position to buy one of our cars but they still want to be part of the Lotus world and this means a lot to us. Developments like this first shop – as part of our global retail strategy, our motorsports activities and the magazine allow us to reach out to so many people who believe in Lotus and this can only be a good thing.”
Alongside the shop, Group Lotus also showcased the new look customers can expect from Lotus dealerships in the future. The dealership environment has a modern look and feel with an inviting lounge area where customers can browse the Lotus library or leisurely spec their new Lotus! Lotus’ latest cars will be on display with a full paint and trim swatches to complete the Lotus shopping experience.
Consistency throughout the store and the product offering is very important. The LOTUS ORIGINALS collection is a refined, cohesive range of luxury apparel, leather goods and performance outerwear that centre on craftsmanship, heritage and the spirit of Lotus yet use new technologies and techniques that appeal to today’s buyer – a theme that runs throughout everything Lotus does and results in desirability and exclusivity.
High quality and attention to detail are key, with Loro Piana 100% cashmere yarn used in block coloured sweaters, cardigans and V-neck knits. Polo shirts and T-shirts feature double stitch edging with a playful approach to branding including; vintage Lotus logos, racing stripes and car silhouettes. A hand-treated leather jacket, inspired by the 1970s drivers’ suits, uses authentic design details in the form of protective quilted padding on the shoulders and a two-button side-fasten collar.
The new store will also showcase a range of luxury lifestyle accessories. Hand-crafted luggage will be available in several styles; all finished with heavy zips, contrast stitching and discrete embossed Lotus logos. Calfskin leather driving gloves are the ultimate indulgence, in tan, black, Lotus green and bright yellow. Carbon fibre gaming sets, calfskin wallets, range of colourful belts and luxury desk accessories are also available as part of the range.