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Stacey Vanek-Smith: Airlines aren’t the only ones scrimping these days. Shoppers are watching their pennies as well. Sales are down at luxury stores like Saks Fifth Avenue. But discounters’ earnings are up. As Nancy Marshall Genzer reports, this season, less really is more.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: Even hipsters are being squeezed by high gas and food prices. So they have less to spend on clothes. They’re telling luxury retailers to take a hike, leaving a lot of sad Saks behind. Nordstrom isn’t doing too well, either.
MKM Partners Analyst Patrick McKeever says people still want top brands, but at a discount.
Patrick McKeever: People understand that prices are going to be significantly cheaper at TJ Maxx than they will be at Macy’s.
McKeever says Ross and TJ Maxx offer the same brands department stores have at discounts of 20 to 60 percent. Saks and Nordstrom are reporting lower sales. RetailMetrics president Ken Perkins says that’s because even the rich are hurting.
Ken Perkins: We’ve seen a significant number of lay-offs on the street, and you know the stock market’s been really volatile.
But don’t feel too sorry for Saks and Nordstrom. Perkins says high-end consumers tend to recover from tough times faster than the rest of us.
I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.
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