These stories about the rich and their extravagant ways, will break your heart.
Even Marked Up, Luxury Goods Fly Off Shelves By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD August 3, 2011
Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin “Bianca” platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years.
Even with the economy in a funk and many Americans pulling back on spending, the rich are again buying designer clothing, luxury cars and about anything that catches their fancy. Luxury goods stores, which fared much worse than other retailers in the recession, are more than recovering — they are zooming. Many high-end businesses are even able to mark up, rather than discount, items to attract customers who equate quality with price.
The luxury category has posted 10 consecutive months of sales increases compared with the year earlier, according to the research service MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. In July, the luxury segment had an 11.6 percent increase, the biggest monthly gain in more than a year.
Tiffany’s first-quarter sales were up 20 percent to $761 million. Last week LVMH, which owns expensive brands like Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, reported sales growth in the first half of 2011 of 13 percent to 10.3 billion euros, or $14.9 billion. Also last week, PPR, home to Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other brands, said its luxury segment’s sales gained 23 percent in the first half. Profits are also up by double digits for many of these companies.
BMW this week said it more than doubled its quarterly profit from a year ago as sales rose 16.5 percent; Porsche said its first-half profit rose 59 percent; and Mercedes-Benz said July sales of its high-end S-Class sedans — some of which cost more than $200,000 — jumped nearly 14 percent in the United States.
Wal-Mart is selling smaller packages because some shoppers do not have enough cash on hand to afford multipacks of toilet paper."You peasants, always whining and moaning about something. I can't count the number of times you welfare loafers have complained that you can't afford to properly feed your family or don't have the money to take your sick child to the doctor or have to live in a cardboard shack...ENOUGH ALREADY!"
Walmart CEO Mike Duke says the company is continuing to slash prices, but the chain's quest to remain the cheapest big-box store may not matter to many of its customers, who are running out of money faster than usual, thanks to higher gas prices and the sluggish economy.
"We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact."
Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.
Lately, they're "running out of money" at a faster clip, he said.
We wealthy elite have our problems too, you know. Do you whiners know that these days, it takes $350,000 to build a tree house for our darling 'Chip' and 'Muffy?'
We can only afford these simple playthings for the tree house, by buying smaller flat-screen TVs and only air conditioning part of the 'shack.' No AC on to the tree house's front porch. My God, I cried when the architect told me that to keep it under 350K, we would have to cut corners somewhere."
"But by scrimping and saving and barely getting by, the money I saved allowed me to buy those simply to die for "Louboutin" $2,495 pair of suede boots and some "Crème de la Mer" facial cream. By shopping around, I was able to get it at "Bergdorf Goodman" for the bargain price of only $1,650 for 16 ounces!"
"You peons need to shop around and find those bargains!"
"If you REALLY want to turn things around, lobby Congress to borrow more money from the Federal Reserve and China to give corporations, multi-millionaires and billionaires more tax breaks, then watch the economy zoom back to life!"
Forbes magazine places the worth of the Walton family of WalMart at greater than $100billion.