luxury goods

Market Minute: Nordstrom 4th-Quarter Net Income Rises

Luxury spending has rebounded since 2009, but Nordstrom is grappling with new demands from shoppers armed with smartphones and tablets. That's pushing the department store, considered the gold standard in customer service, to redefine the term for a new era.

Wealthy Shoppers Pay Premiums for Preferred Companies

By now we're all accustomed to hearing about the "two-speed economy," in which the wealthy flourish and the less affluent fall farther and farther behind. The widening gap between rich and poor has not been lost on the stock market: The valuations of luxury goods companies are much higher than those of lower-end firms.

Luxury Biz on Edge After Japan's Earthquake

The Japanese are the world's most voracious consumers of luxury goods, from Louis Vuitton handbags to Cartier jewelry to Hermes high fashion. So purveyors of those luxury goods are justifiably worried about the effect of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on their bottom lines.

A Valentine's Day Surprise for February Retail Sales

Retailers got an unexpected showing of love from shoppers: Strong February sales. But whether consumers repeat the feat in spring could depend on gasoline prices and how good shoppers feel about their finances. March, in particular, could be tough.

February Retail Sales: Slow but Steady

Most forecasts expect February will show 3% growth or better over the same time last year when major merchants report monthly tallies on Thursday. One things seems clear: Higher-end households were more willing to spend than lower- and middle-income ones.

Consumers Are Finding Cash for 'Small Luxuries'

As the economy improves, Americans have begun splurging again. But they're limiting their indulgences to haircuts, casual dining and coffee, while continuing to forego many bigger expenditures, like vacations and dining at expensive restaurants.

Bargain Hunters Marked Down December's Retail Sales

Many shoppers who took advantage of the early holiday sales in November held back and forced retailers to cut prices as Christmas neared. Despite increases in luxury spending, the results show that mainstream consumers remain bargain shoppers.

Beer-Budget Gifts from High-End Brands

Recognizing that even the well-heeled have money problems these days and trying to expand their customer base, many luxury-goods sellers now have something for (almost) everyone. Here's a rundown of some less-pricey goodies you can get at the toniest shops in town.

The Most Expensive Gift at 12 American Retailers

Want to be an extra-generous Santa in 2010? Try buying the most expensive item at each of 12 popular U.S. retailers. According to an unscientific survey by 24/7 Wall St, that would set you back nearly $15 million (thanks mainly to a visit to Tiffany).

Burberry Shares Jump on Speculation of Takeover Bid

Shares in luxury-goods maker Burberry (BRBY) jumped as much as 6.5% on speculation of a potential buy-out. Shares rose as high 1,204 pence, putting the company%u2019s value at 5 billion pounds ($7.9 billion), Reuters reported.

Polo Ralph Lauren Shares Could Soon Be Riding Higher

The recession hardly made a dent in Polo Ralph Lauren's upward sales progress, so it should have tremendous leverage in advancing in the economic recovery that's increasingly gaining traction. The shares hit a 52-week high on April 14.

MasterCard Poised for Moderate Growth

Credit card outfit MasterCard likely saw a small bump in fee collection in the fourth quarter, which should translate into higher earnings when the company reports earnings on Thursday morning.