Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nothing Normal about the "NEW NORMAL!"

I don't know about you, but I don't believe that we are going to be living this "slow down" for a long time - hence the comments about the new normal. I am not a fan of the new-normal dogma that predicts a decade of mediocre stock markets and slow business. Many people feel that they need to hide away their money and not spend...Nonsense! It is time you start believing that as Americans we can pull ourselves out of this mess - I believe we won't see the fast paced spending that we saw before the financial crisis but we won't be living in austerity either.

Normal should mean reasonable spending, investing, borrowing and living. Many companies are doing great this year. Walmart, Nordstrom and CB Richard Ellis all have done very well. The world is not coming to an end, but we must look at tomorrow with belief in our ability to pull out of this.

I spend a great deal of my life working with clients in the luxury segment, a segment that was really hit with all of the government regulations and perception problems about spending. Well not to fear...we are not ready as Americans to get rid of luxury. Maybe it will be smaller luxury purchases, but mark my word...we will keep buying luxury. Sales of Bentleys and Maybachs may have been down last year, but I know that the Mercedes dealership that I go to has more valet parkers than some of the hotels in my area.

Many people are still consuming luxury but not making such a big deal about it. I am sorry, but if I have worked so hard in order to afford a nice bag or a nice car I shouldn't have to hide that. The only difference today is that the luxury retailers, restaurants, hotels, and clubs have created new ways to sell to us. Tiffany is selling a lot of low-cost bracelets but you still get to walk out of the store carrying the famous trademark "blue box."

Everyone is talking about the growth in China and other parts of the world. Remember our dollar strengthen in parts of the world - the Euro and the Yen! Call me an optimist but I am not ready to say this is the new normal. Nothing is normal about not spending, not enjoying life and hiding the rewards of hard work. So as I carry my Louis Vuitton bag and drive my Mercedes, I apologize to no one and say thank you to myself and my husband for our hard work and commitment to building a better future for our families, our employees and America!