Last year, luxury consumers were willing to spend more on categories such as kitchen appliances, cosmetics, fragrance and beauty products, footwear and watches. “You can buy everything at Costco,” Danziger said. “The bargains are huge and people can easily go overboard at this store.” The Issaquah, Wash.-based retailer is offering discounts on Nikon cameras, $50 off select air conditioners and $150 off treadmills. If consumers are interested in a few high-priced baubles, Costco offerings include a purple-pink radiant diamond ring ($260,000) and a five-row diamond necklace ($90,000).
“This retailer has the loyalty of the luxury consumers,” Danziger said. “I mean, service is key for Nordstrom.” The Seattle-based retailer has won accolades over the years for its customer service: Nordstrom ranked first in the American Customer Satisfaction Index for 2007, released this year. Apparel brands offered at Nordstrom include Calvin Klein, Burberry, Diane von Furstenberg, Nanette Lepore and Cynthia Steffe.
The world’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark., is pulling in luxury buyers in all categories. “The question is: Can Norma Kamali bring credibility to the fashion area of this store?” Danziger said. The exclusive collection, called Norma Kamali, will be offered in select stores beginning this fall. “Wal-Mart’s apparel business is clearly on the mend, and it’s an improving trend,” Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, told WWD Wednesday. This spring, the retailer launched its ad campaign for the Ocean Pacific (OP) brand, which features young stars such as Pete Wentz, Christina Milian, Josie Maran, Kristin Cavallari and Rumer Willis.
Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Kohl’s offers everything from kitchenware, home furnishings and bed and bath to jewelry and beauty products and apparel. In apparel, Kohl’s is expanding its portfolio of high-profile brands, such as Adidas, Levi’s, Daisy Fuentes and Vera Wang, who signed an exclusive deal with the retailer last year for her Simply Vera Vera Wang line. “With Kohl’s, Vera Wang has been successful at raising the profile of her own brand,” Danziger said. “People at the luxury level are interested in what she’s doing….The [collection skews] on the younger side, and the quality is really good.”