Add Rodeo Drive to the Hamptons as another small pocket of America left untouched by the recession. Our thanks to rich foreigners spending toilet-paper dollars, celebrities spending Hollywood’s record box-office money, and the occasional musician whose albums still make money.
Rodeo Drive not only caters to wealthy consumers, it caters to members of industries not hit by the economic downturn. Apart from investment banker Moelis & Co. (which has been thriving, incidentally) and the LA branches of bulge-bracket investment banks, there isn’t much of a financial services industry in Southern California.
Now if only Mariah Carey would toss some of her E=MC2 and Emancipation of Mimi money around a harder-hit community like Greenwich.
LA Times: Gas and grocery prices may be more than many working-class families can bear, home foreclosures may be soaring, but life is just fine at the loftiest heights of the economy.
At least that’s the view from Beverly Hills, where I spent a recent afternoon popping into pricey boutiques and chatting with retailers and shoppers.
“Business has been crazy-great,” gushed Kim Gregory, manager of the Christofle shop on Brighton Way, purveyor of silver flatware and other furnishings. “It’s like Christmas in here.”
Shortly before I arrived at her store, she said, a customer purchased $10,000 worth of knives, forks and spoons. Last month, sales were up 45% from a year earlier.
“Most of my clients have those black American Express cards, the ones made out of titanium,” Gregory said. “They don’t worry about their mortgages. They don’t worry about recession. They just want to buy.”
Ah, the AmEx Black: the enduring status symbol.
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