Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Luxury Summit Beverly Hills

Yesterday, I attended the Luxury Summit hosted by the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
I was surprised at the attendance, it was packed.
The program began with opening remarks by the Chairman, President and Vice President of the Chamber and the Mayor of Beverly Hills while lunch was served. Then a panel discussion was held moderated by Donald Straszheim, Vice Chairman of Roth Capital Partners.

The panel included Jane Wells, a Los Angeles based business news reporter for CNBC, Judith Murphy, associate publisher for American Express Publishing, Suzanne Hader, founder of 400twin, a consultancy firm specializing the luxury brands, Liz Dunn, managing director for Thomas Weisel Partners following retail, and Emmanuel Perrin, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels for America.

The discussion was interesting but I didn't learn anything particularly earth shattering. The basic consensus was that we are in for some rocky times as the economy slows down and while the highest end luxury consumer won't change his/her buying behavior, the aspirational consumer will cut back on spending. The most interesting remark came from the very attractive and debonair Monsieur Perrin. He said that when VCA opened their store in Macao, they made their 6 months sales projected revenues in 2 weeks.

Now if I could only speak mandarin and transport my little empire over to Macao......
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