Of the 25 stores that made consumer finance website Bundle's "most expensive stores" list, Oscar de la Renta was the only one to break the $3,000 mark: That's $3,217 on average that customers spend at his Madison Avenue location in New York City.

The top 25 list reads like the credits of a Vogue editorial: big names, big numbers, big cities. Bundle, a data-analysis startup, took price data from millions of credit card transactions provided by Citibank over the course of one year to generate average receipt numbers for each store.

While Oscar De La Renta is not out of place on the list, it does seem a little strange that the brand would trump the likes of Chanel, Chloe, Lanvin and Prada. Giorgio Armani, down the street, comes in second at $2,821.



One reason for its list-topping status does stand out: De la Renta sells dresses. While many of the brand's original competitors such as Gucci or Louis Vuitton have been absorbed into luxury conglomerates, and now focus more on the high-margin sales of shoes and bags, Oscar de la Renta has stayed private and family-run, and held true to its pricey roots. (CEO Alex Bolen is de la Renta's son-in-law). Today, Oscar de la Renta is known for the same sort of timeless, womanly gowns that it made for the socialites of the 1960s.

And as Oscar de la Renta fans like Oprah and Sarah Jessica Parker know too well, looking timeless is a pricey habit. As Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center put it, "Unlike even Armani, [Oscar de la Renta] doesn't carry a diverse range of merchandise to serve different segments of the market. Everything starts at a very high price point."

Madison Avenue -- home to three of the top four locations on the list -- is also an international tourist destination, where people come to buy brands that may not be available in their home countries. "Some of these stores have a very limited distribution and become more appealing," Kurtz says.

Kurtz also notes that Bundle's study takes into account only part of the luxury market, since until recently, Citibank dealt only with Mastercard and Visa -- not American Express cards or private store accounts. So while the numbers give an idea of how people are spending, they aren't representative of the entire market.

The only top-four boutique not on Madison Avenue is Boston's Loro Piana, a family-owned Italian brand known for its fine cashmere that came in at No. 3 at $2.818. It would seem that top spenders are also willing to pay for established glamor and exceptionally well-made products, even when they aren't flashy or avant-garde.



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Miles Johnstone

how are they over priced just because you can't afford it dosen't mean that its over priced you pay for qualint and steinmart shouldn't even be mentioned its like compareing kolhs to armani. And also if it was just as good as a lesser brand why dose my dress last longer look nicer .

August 26 2011 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eternalhealth1

That is great for their family business. As a whole it is being reported that the Luxury market is doing Great!!! Just be sure to think about those that do not have who want to find a job in this economy. As you are purchasing that very highly priced dress, and not paying taxes so that we all can have good schools, sidewalks and streetlights; there is someone else who is paying the price that is not doing well. In fact they those who are unemployed were expecting you all who claimed that they were going to hire more people just to do what you said: "I got more money, so I can hire more people". Peace for the Needy and not the Greedy.

August 26 2011 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

I like Dillards 65% off + 40% off. Sounds like they'd owe the customer money, but no. It is cheap, though.

August 25 2011 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rossandsheila

They are all, so over priced, it is ridiculous!People have been led to believe that one brand is so much better than another brand.They really can't give you a concrete reason .

August 25 2011 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Randy

BREAKING NEWS! President Obama has just confirmed that the DC earthquake occurred on a rare and obscure fault-line, apparently known as "Bush's Fault". Obama also announced that the Secret Service and Maxine Waters continue an investigation of the quake's suspicious ties to the Tea Party. Conservatives however have proven that it was caused by the founding fathers rolling over in their graves.

August 25 2011 at 4:16 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Randy's comment
savemycountry911

Awesome. I haven't heard this. Hope it makes the news.

August 25 2011 at 8:39 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
claudette

ladies, if you want to look stylish. go to steinmart. lovely store, reasonable prices, up to date clothing.

August 25 2011 at 1:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to claudette's comment
rossandsheila

Absolutely correct! I shop there often.Prices are good and the brands are excellent.They have special discounts often.Very stylish clothing for men.

August 25 2011 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply