Sunday, 1 April 2012

Porsche Design Boutique

Bob had rented a shop solely for Porsche Design in the Bahrain Sheraton Hotel lobby. This was the first of its kind in the world at that time and we named it the “Porsche Design Boutique”.
The General Manager of the Sheraton was Karl Heinz Auhman, a German, so he was particularly interested in having high quality products associated with the hotel, especially if they were German. The Sheraton was the best five star hotel in Bahrain in those days and owned by the Amir of Bahrain, Sheikh Isa bin Sulman Al Khalifa and his sons, so anyone that was anyone, visited it regularly.
Bob soon approached me to say Karl Heinz the GM was keen to rent us some lobby floor space to display a couple of Porsche cars outside of our Porsche Design Boutique. By this time as profits were accumulating in the business we used them to buying spare parts, special tools and eventually we owned a couple of stock Porsche 924’s to display.
Initially the hotel wanted us to pay for the floor space used, but I managed to get them to waive their fee in return for holding our corporate events there. So the cars were on daily display and we were only planning one event for the year, so I think we had the better part of the bargain!
As Porsche Design did not manufacture their designs, they had leading companies produce their products for them. Bob and I got to know Paul Kirchhoff who coordinated this and was based in Zell Am Zee at Porsche Design, and in turn we build up a good relationship with Hannes Plantli, Sales Director at the International Watch Company in Switzerland and also Fred Johl at Karl Seeger (the leather company) and to lesser degree with Carrera the Austrian sunglass manufacturer.

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