It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood movie starring, perhaps, Leonardo DiCaprio, and yet it’s real life: the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit this week claiming that fraudsters stole $3.5 billion from the Malaysian people, and moved some of that money through U.S. banks to buy luxury hotels, yachts, a jet, and to produce the movie The Wolf Of Wall Street. [More]
Does where you shop influence how you treat others? According to one group of researchers, the very act of standing near luxury stores turned people into jerky jerkfaces who’d likely rather sniff the air and saunter off than help someone in need. [More]
The owner of Saks Fifth Avenue is branching out into the world of here-and-then-gone Internet discounts, snapping up flash sale site Gilt Groupe for $250 million in cash. Because luxury brands obviously have that much money just sitting in their gilded piggy banks. [More]
Calling all bargain hunters — haha, just kidding, this thing is so extravagant that likely none of us will ever experience such a luxurious set-up, and in the air, no less. Etihad Airways just announced a new set of A380 planes, equipped with digs fancy enough to include a trained butler and a private bathroom. [More]
When you shop at Sears, what are you looking for, usually? Some kind of appliance, a set of tools, perhaps a lingering sense of dissatisfaction for the whole retail experience, that kind of thing. As for designer handbags and flashy watches that cost more than the annual salary of many Sears shoppers? That’s not the usual fare. Not anymore: Bring on the $33,000 Rolex watches and the $4,000 designer purses, says Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, issuing instructions from his Florida bastion. [More]
In an amazing breakthrough for both Science and the study of consumer behavior, researchers have determined that the pleasures of having an expensive car is fleeting and quickly replaced by thinking about the anxieties of day-to-day existence. [More]
One airline is trying a refreshing marketing strategy, competitively differentiating itself based on customer service. Luxury airliner OpenSkies says they guarantee you will enjoy your flight, and offers a full refund, minus taxes and fees, if you’re not completely satisfied. [More]
When Paul Simon sang “She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes,” we don’t think he was daring anyone to actually make said shoes. But jeweler House of Borgezie has gotten pretty close, slapping over 2,000 diamonds on a pair of stiletto heels and charging $155,000 a pair. [More]
How much would you pay to sleep on the Porsche of mattresses? How about $33,000? That’s how much E.S. Kluft & Co.’s king-size Palais Royale mattress and box spring will run you. It contains 19.5 inches of of luxury fabric and materials, including: [More]
In what we can only assume is a bid to make sure you don’t spend too much time thinking about the fact that you just spent between $50,000 to $60,000 on a Hyundai, the new luxury Hyundai Equus will have an iPad as a manual. [More]
The reborn Faberge has decided that the rich don’t shop online like the rest of us.
How do you turn the purchase of a purse with a four-figure price tag into a sound financial decision in a recession? That’s the task luxury brand marketers and fashion magazines have right now, and their solution is to spin luxury purchases as an “investment.” But is it a good investment? Not really.
That new luxury movie theater we told you about back in March will open Friday in affluent South Barrington, IL. At $35 a ticket, you’re treated to valet parking, waiter service, individual reclining chairs, and should you require, blankets and slippers. And no, the food isn’t included.
Like fake designer handbags and watches? We have bad news.
“Hold on,” you say to yourself—”If it’s a gratuity, doesn’t that by definition mean it goes to the wait staff?” Not if you’re a server for World Yacht, a “luxury dining fleet” in Manhattan that will now be sued by its employees for slapping automatic gratuities on diners’ bills, then keeping the extra money for itself. New York labor laws require “employers to pass on to workers any payments that customers understand to be tips,” but World Yacht argued that the banquet industry was exempt, and its servers should get nothing. Thanks to last week’s ruling, the employees can move forward with their suit.
Whether the U.S. is technically in a recession or not, Coach’s CEO Lew Frankfort says consumers are already pretending that it’s here. That’s why he’s in favor of the President’s proposed stimulus package—it will “restore confidence in consumers that they will have some additional discretionary money that they would otherwise not expect.” That’s right: we need a nation-wide tax credit this year so that we can buy more Coach purses.
The aspirational upper-middle-class customer who helped companies like Coach and Saks post double-digit growth in the past few years has disappeared due to the current rotten economy, writes BusinessWeek. The result: luxury goods companies that expanded their product lines to appeal to the not-quite-rich now have $150 purses and nobody to buy them. Coach went so far as to offer coupons recently “to drum up sales.”