Ferrari opened its first factory store for merchandise in its hometown of Maranello, Italy.
Called simply Ferrari Store, it is the flagship of a series of shops the Italian automaker will open over the next two years in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London and other major cities in the USA and Germany.
Located in front of the Ferrari factory, the Maranello store offers hats, flags, T-shirts, scale models, video games, notepads and coffee mugs. But production-car parts and racing memorabilia are also on sale, including a real Formula One steering wheel for E3,000.
At the store entrance, an automatic sound system greets visitors with F1 exhaust noise. Part of the shop is dedicated to vintage racing cars, with videos and a kid's area.
Last year, Ferrari generated E16 million with its merchandising and licensing activities. This year's goal is E18 million.
In early 2001, Ferrari closed a Lugano, Switzerland-based Idea Ferrari subsidiary, returning control of all merchandising and licensing activities to its Maranello headquarters. At the same time, Alberto Crippa was recruited from Walt Disney to head the newly created Licensing and Merchandising Division.
Crippa dreams of selling complete Ferrari F1 racers some day, but in-store sales will probably be limited to F1 racing engines.
Ferrari's partners in merchandising and licensing are Mattel of the USA for scale models; Fila of Italy for clothes and shoes; Electronic Arts of Japan for videogames; and Girard-Perregaux of Switzerland for wristwatches.