Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Are we in the money?


"The rich treated themselves like royalty this holiday season. That spun the holidays into gold for Tiffany and other high-end retailers.

Wealthier shoppers traded up to more expensive gold and diamond jewelry from silver charms at Tiffany. At Saks and Neiman Marcus designer clothing and handbags were the hot holiday items.

The strong reports are a big improvement from six months ago, when wealthy Americans got spooked by a stock market slide and cut back spending. It shows affluent shoppers are trading back up to higher-status brands as the stock market bounces back. The rich in booming Asian economies, especially, are ramping up spending..."

This last year has been a bit of test for Bend, Oregon.

If it's true that we have a large population of well-off people in the area, they made a whole lot of money in the stock markets last year. Spending money.

If, on the other hand, most of the "well-off" people in the area are more in the nature of aspirational -- living the high life without really having the resources -- well, they got hammered last year.

The irony being that I'm not sure either group are among my baseline customers...

But the rest of downtown, I would think, it would very much describe their customer base.


Duncan McGeary said...

There is also the little matter that I've always felt the truly rich, even if they live here, probably spend their money elsewhere.

See above story about Tiffany, Saks, and Neiman Marcus...

Duncan McGeary said...

Bend housing prices hit a 5.5 year low, thus outlasting my advice to people three years ago to "Wait a couple of years to buy a house."

H. Bruce Miller said...

"I've always felt the truly rich, even if they live here, probably spend their money elsewhere."

I suspect you're right, except for occasional restaurant meals and services like house-cleaning, gardening, etc. The wealth doesn't seem to trickle down much.

Hell, Bend doesn't even have a Nordstrom's (and isn't likely to get one).