Luxury Goods Enters the Mass Market via the Internet

Luxury, once reserved for the richest members of our society, has gone mass market. Thank Target. Thank cable television. But most of all, thank the Internet.

Internet Makes Designer Goods More Accessible to Mass Market

In a recent New York Times article,  Cathy Horyn wrote “If mass retailing has been transformed by the availability of better-designed products, like Michael Graves teapots at Target, class has been transformed by technology and a consumer who is as well informed as she is impatient to have the latest gaud. Half the purchases on Neiman Marcus’s Web site are by customers who do not live near one of its actual stores, said Brendan Hoffman, chief executive of Neiman Marcus Direct, which also operates the Web site of Bergdorf Goodman, a Neiman property.”


Why is this even news? Of course most of the customers shopping online at store like Neiman Marcus, would be from areas where there is not store. Neiman Marcus is not like Target, which has stores everywhere. Why is it such a surprise that there are Fashionistas in Peoria who wear Manolos as much as Fashionistas in NYC?

It seems like class discrimination is rearing its ugly head. The elite and their shopping haunts like Tiffany’s and Bergdorf, can’t handle the fact that fabulousness is not just for the rich. The Internet has done to shopping what the removal of legacy policies did for Ivy League educational institutions—made prestige available to all. And much like an Ivy League education, you will be paying for it for the rest of your life.

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