In times of crisis, bank on luxury

Isaac Mostovicz writes...


As the financial crisis threatens to wipe out the global financial system, times are tough for Wall Street and Main Street alike. How is the crisis affecting the luxury goods industry? According to Bain & Co, while certain niches have seen a dip, the luxury marketplace as a whole remains increasingly strong in the face of economic collapse.

Moet & Chandon, for instance, views the current financial chaos as just a hiccup in the long history of political, social, and economic crises—all of which the Champagne house has survived. Luxury products, they argue, are the most desirable during times of distress, where people hit hardest need something to hope for while those of extreme wealth will always have cash to spare for indulgences.

Similar sentiments ring true throughout the luxury market. Another article points to stability of the luxury car, where interest in Ferrari’s new $250,000 car hasn’t waned a bit, and Bentley sales grew by 20% last year. Luxury car companies are also moving away from countries worst hit by the crisis, focusing on expansion into emerging markets like India, China, and Russia.

However, such optimism may be subdued if the crisis continues at this rate. Forbes predicts that while luxury retailers avoided the first downturn, they are “far from immune.” The article predicts that upscale chains (such as Sak’s and Neiman Marcus, who saw September sales fall 11% and 16%, respectively) may need to discount products up to 20% over the holiday season.

What does this mean for you? While the crisis may demand a closer eye on your wallet, don’t think luxury will go to the wayside—it may just be on sale.

Dennis says of this article...

Nice article!
Thanx for posting it.

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Looking After Your Luxury Watch Just Got Easier

Isaac Mostovicz writes...


As mentioned in a recent post, Bentley has come up with another limited edition invention, this time for luxury watch owners. Worried about damaging yours, Bentley have come to your aid, creating a unique safe box especially designed for your watch.

Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe and Piaget; the millionaires and billionaires would not been seen without one of these timepieces fastened to their wrist. They can complement your life, accessorize your wardrobe, or become a family heirloom to pass along to future generations.

High-end watches can have over 800 components, many of them handmade and hand assembled by trained watch makers. The luxury market begins at £500 pounds but many easily cost 30 times that, notes Andrew Block, senior vice president of marketing for Tourneau, one of the world’s largest high-end watch dealers.

However, these pieces of art should not be left on the bedside table or next to the sink, at risk of damage. To truly take care of your watch, Bentley has teamed up with Stockinger Safety First Class to create 400 unique, limited edition safe boxes. The Arnage is perfect for watch lovers and among its many features it contains Stockinger’s automatic watch winding system.

Dominik von Ribbentrop, owner of Stockinger, says:

Style, grace and security: A Stockinger safe will give you freedom and independence and will increase your peace of mind – in style and at all times. Stockinger’s passion is to enrich the grey world of bulky safes with a high-class product that is as secure as a bank, as precise as a master time piece, and as beautiful as a piece of the finest art.

The safe is available in the same exterior colours as Bentley cars and feature 10 interior leather colours and three wood veneers. Giving your timepiece this secure place to rest, you must put a deposit down ahead of time, as each safe requires several weeks to construct, taking 18 stages and 30 different teams. The price has yet to be announced but remember there will only be 400.

Does this seem a little extreme? We may lock cars in the garage, ourselves in at night and our money in the bank, however, a safe specially designed for your watch, to be kept at home; is taking this precaution to a whole new level.

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Bentley’s Ventures into Luxury Laptops

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

The Bentley brand is associated with quality and for creating products that allow customers to travel in style. The luxury car manufacturer is now aiming to make cruising the information super highway a similarly extravagant experience for the select few who will own the new Bentley laptop computer.

Bentley’s new product, one of the most expensive on the market, debuted at the British International Motor Show in London in July and will be retailed globally in high-end stores in October – but only to the first 250 people able to splurge the £10,000 to get one of the limited edition laptops.

Featuring Windows Vista, a 64-bit processor, a 160GB hard drive and 12 direct access keys, each Bentley laptop is hand-built, and encased in leather with the same cross-over stitching detail seen on the car seats. The chrome carry handle is modelled after the trademark automobile’s door handle as well.

Bentley paired up with Ego Lifestyle, a luxury and lifestyle product designer, who specialize in creating customized computers, to produce the laptop. Though it’s not the first time high-end car brands have relied on their brand perception to launch into the electronics market, to date this type of pairing has been mostly the domain of sports car manufacturers, like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Koenigsegg.

Bentley’s newest addition to the market stands apart from the specialist designs created by the sports car manufacturers. These brands are associated with products that are sharp and fast, and promote the idea that the computers will have the same type of edge the sports cars evoke. The difference with the Bentley laptop closely reflects the differences in the brands, with Bentley emphasizing individuality and class. And while the sports car branded laptops retail at between £1,200 and £1,700, the Bentley laptop’s much higher price is a clearly distinctive point.

Bentley’s new product will appeal to luxury consumers of both the Lambda and Theta worldviews. Each PC can be moulded into a highly specialized look based on the consumer’s colour choice for the leather casing as well as the chrome interior, so there’s little chance of running into someone with the same piece and the same bespoke detailing, a plus from the Lambda perspective. On the other hand, the Bentley logo is clearly visible, and the laptop exudes the same sense of craftsmanship associated with the automobile brand, which will appeal to the Theta consumer.

With the Bentley laptop set to go on sale next month, it will be interesting to see how quickly the few available products will be snatched up. Success in this venture may see Bentley, like other luxury goods makers, continue to use its status as a trusted brand as a platform to hype existing markets.

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