Is Masstige Fading?
Could the high-end handbag and shoe trend be waning? There are some warning signs that the luxury frenzy is abating. A Fortune article brings together a couple of important stats such as the fact that both Nordstrom, the high-end department store, and Coach, purveyors of mid-range handbags, have issued warnings of weaker-than-expected sales. The sector of the luxury market that will most likely be hit won't be the very high end but the "masstige" (prestige items for the masses) market, those retailers who have aimed squarely at the moderately wealthy. This has bread and butter for Coach over the last few years, leading to explosive growth. Now their stock is off 32 percent in the past six months. The article cites the falling estate prices as one of the possible reasons for the slowdown. As people's houses are worth less they feel less rich and so they are less likely to spend heavily. Many retailers are anxiously awaiting the upcoming holiday season to see just how soft the luxury market is.