There are many retailers around the world that egotistically claim to be luxury goods retailers. Truth be told, most are nothing but overpriced imitators. True luxury goods retail brands and thriving because in a world as transparent as the one we now live in, the imitators are being exposed and abandoned.
Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson once wrote that – in his opinion – engineering had probably peaked and that the huge leaps in such areas as aeroplane and motorcar design that mankind had enjoyed in the twentieth century were now either being refined or reformed. It is an interesting viewpoint on the effects of government intervention and modern social pressure.
Nearly three years ago Mohammed Al Fayed sold one of the world’s great department stores to the Qatar Holdings Group. Since that time the new owners have been carefully refining the store, ensuring they didn’t make changes for changes sake but rather applying capital and ideas to gently evolve the position of a great department store in the new era of retail.
Monaco. Once described as ‘a colorful place for shady characters’. Having just returned from a European business trip that afforded me the luxury of a visit to the second smallest country in the world, I can honestly say that the principles that underpin the economic success of this fairytale principality are not to be sneered at.
Listening to the debate on the potential acquisition of a majority shareholding in Tiger Airways by Virgin Australia and the ACCC mulling over the matter, has signalled once again the point in the cycle of competition in the domestic airline industry of inevitable consolidation.
In the past two years a steady stream of wonderful restaurants have announced they are closing up shop. With the heady popularity of food programs and media, the rise in the quality of food and wine consumed and the increasing exposure to and education about good food and what it takes to create it reaching across social strata, it surprises many why this is happening.
Interesting phenomena social media. Not the least because its name – as is often the case in modern life – is in practical application, the exact opposite of what it does. Millions of people around the world enabled with a reflex technology that allows them to broadcast in minute detail everything they do, think and feel twenty four hours a day.
Lets get one thing straight. There is no shortage of money out there. At a household level in Australia we are at an all time high in earnings and affluence. We have also never been more bored as consumers. We seem to live in an endless ‘Groundhog Day’ experience. As in the movie with Bill Murray where he wakes up every morning to relive the same day all over again.
We human beings have created an interesting paradigm. One where we have convinced ourselves that future gains will be achieved by walking down an ever increasing series of narrow and distinct corridors of intellectual pursuit. Specialised schools of thought that indoctrinate others into process, packaged thinking and knowledge in a linear fashion.
We live in a society that is dominated by the vampire effect. You know, the way we all suck the blood of the young to prolong our vitality as we slowly ebb into the autumn and winter of our lives. Business is geared towards recruiting young and we are taught to move towards retirement gracefully and swiftly.