FEBRUARY 22, 2011–POTOMAC, MD In an effort to accelerate growth by broadening its appeal beyond rich people, luxury retailer Neiman-Marcus, is planning a new chain of ‘$1,000 Stores,’ according to sources close to the company. Patterned after the popular ‘dollar store’ concept, which gained favor with investors during the economic downturn, the $1,000 Stores will be stocked exclusively with products that cost exactly $1,000–which Neiman’s research shows is the price point that triggers impulse spending among non-rich people.
“We believe our core business with luxury buyers is healthy,” said the source who asked not to be identified since he is embarrassed by the plan. “But we needed a way to hedge our bets without damaging the brand. The $1,000 stores are for those who aspire to be our regular clientele but aren’t quite there yet. They’ll be able to browse freely at what we call the ‘grab bag’ price point–they can put any item in the store it in their motorized shopping carts and not have to ask what it costs.”
Some industry observers are skeptical of the $1,000 Stores’ appeal to deal seekers. According to marketing consultant Bob London of London, Ink, Neiman executives may be setting the bar too high. “What are they smoking?” London asked rhetorically before answering his own question by saying, “Knowing Neiman’s, probably the world’s most expensive, organically cultivated weed, imported from Milan and stored in a monogrammed, distressed leather stash bag.”
According to the source, the working name for the new stores is, “Let Them Eat Cake.”
–This article is satirical and not based on any real people, companies or actions that I’m aware of.–
Bobservations is written by me, Bob London. More of my writing can be seen at www.bob-servations.com. I’m also president of London, Ink LLC, a full-service marketing and communications firm and serve as a Virtual VP of Marketing for growth-stage companies that need hands-on project-based leadership in marketing strategy and planning. More information is available at www.londonink.com.