The Wall Street Journal's Rachel Dodes lays out the real problem facing even luxury retailers this holiday shopping season: psychology. According to the chief executive of the company that owns Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga, Francois Henri Pinault, "There will always be rich people, but it's the mindset" that drives their spending.
Neiman Marcus' C.F.O. concurs:
James Skinner ... said that news of the financial turmoil is ubiquitous and that is negatively affecting the mood of consumers, who otherwise can still afford expensive clothes, shoes and jewelry. "The best customers never lose the ability to spend," Mr. Skinner added. But "there's an emotional impact" because of the coverage.