FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, March 14, 2005

Goodbye Nordstrom... Hello Wal-Mart!

Upscale retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, where sales have remained strong and steady for the past two years, may be in for some rougher times as economists predict a cooling-off of luxury spending this year.

A combination of higher tax burdens and less growth in real estate prices may put the pinch on the most affluent consumers. Economists also believe that a decline in luxury spending may be cyclical and influenced by fashion and trends.

Meanwhile, discount retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target may benefit from a growing job market, which would put more money in the pockets of the middle class. Perhaps some of these folks might do well enough to visit Saks... just as Saks customers are headed in the opposite direction to check out Wal-Mart bargains.

Source: CNN/Money