Luxury Institute News

August 15, 2012

Luxury brands resilient in latest quarter

By Phil Wahba
Reuters
August 14, 2012

Luxury brands saw resilience at high-end department stores in the latest quarter, showing that wealthy shoppers are buying despite lingering concerns about the global economy.

Results issued on Tuesday by Michael Kors Holdings Ltd and Estee Lauder Cos Inc were the latest signals of strength in high-end brands.

In general, U.S. retail sales increased in July for the first time in four months as demand rose broadly for everything from cars to electronics, a sign that consumers could drive faster economic growth in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported on Tuesday.

Kors’ better-than-expected profit was due in part to bringing its boutiques into department stores. Kors has benefited from a consumer appetite for “affordable luxury” and its founder’s prominence as a judge on the long-running TV fashion show “Project Runway.”

Click the link to read the entire article which includes quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48660164/ns/business-retail/t/luxury-brands-resilient-latest-quarter/#.UJwbrcVX3ro

August 7, 2012

10 Things Apple Won’t Tell You

From customer service to app safety and even how its devices affect our relationships, here are 10 things Apple won’t likely tell you about its products and its business.

By Quentin Fottrell
SmartMoney
August 6, 2012

1.”Our customers are worn out.”

All that initial excitement over the first iPhone or iPad has quickly given way to what analysts are dubbing “upgrade fatigue” — with even Apple’s most loyal customers upset about the steady stream of newer models. In fact, when people buy Apple’s latest product, the company is usually already preparing its replacement, says technology consultant Patchen Barrs, who has owned 25 Apple products over the last 20 years. “Everything we buy from them is already out of date,” he says. Take a count: Since 2001, there have been six iPods, two iPod minis, six iPod Nanos, four iPod Shuffles and four editions of the iPod Touch. Apple has released five iPhone models since 2007 and has had three iPads since 2010.

Of course, newer models have their upsides: They’re usually slimmer, faster and have additional features like better cameras and improved screen quality. And Apple, which declined to comment for this story, has said that such improvements more than justify the fast pace of their new additions. (In March, for example, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said the latest iPad delivered a “stunning” screen display.) But that argument isn’t enough to appease some cash-strapped consumers. Almost 50% of consumers say they’re increasingly unwilling to buy new products for fear that they will be rendered outdated by even newer versions, according to a recent survey of 2,000 people by Marketing Magazine in the U.K.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes a quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.marketwatch.com/Story/Story/?guid={61E63842-DFED-11E1-961B-002128049AD6}

August 6, 2012

As Nordstrom’s arrival looms, rival stores sharpen up

By Marina Strauss
The Globe and Mail
August 5, 2012

Erik Nordstrom likes to boast about his employees going the extra mile at the upscale U.S. retailer that bears his name.

Recently, the great-grandson of the founder of Nordstrom Inc. told the story of a maintenance staff worker who discovered a Nordstrom shopping bag filled with $800 worth of goods in the parking lot of a Farmington, Conn., store.

Flight information in the package helped the employee identify the customer, whom he dialled three times.

She failed to pick up because, she said later, she didn’t recognize the number on her mobile’s call display. Realizing her flight was leaving soon, he drove 200 kilometres – two hours – to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, and after having her paged at the airport, triumphantly handed her the bag.

She offered him money for gas, but he refused.

“We don’t nail it all the time, by any means, but we’re fortunate to have some really terrific people in this company who care a lot … about their customers,” Mr. Nordstrom, the company’s president of stores, told the retailer’s annual meeting in May.

Click the link to read the entire article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/as-nordstroms-arrival-looms-rival-stores-sharpen-up/article4464192/