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$795 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Lately I have been teaching entrepreneurship and marketing classes in two different schools to the same segment of audience: students looking to work in the luxury industry. Needless to say, I’m not a regular customer of that market, and although I understand how someone can shed $800 on a pair of Louboutin pumps (haven’t gotten there yet myself though), I was flabbergasted by some of the findings my students came up with.

We are doing market analysis and I asked them to estimate the acceptable price curve for their segment, and mostly, the price under which items in their segment would be considered “low quality”. Here’s an example of what they came up with:

Low quality average price for a bottle of champagne: 55€ ($74.5) on 20-30 years old target audience.

For the record, a bottle of Veuve Cliquot retails for 39€ in average in France mass-market ($50)

Low quality average price for a pair of sneakers: 50€ ($68) on a 16-65 years old target audience.

For the record, a pair of first-price sneakers in a French sport-specialized mass-market store: 14.95€ ($20)

Low quality average price for a “luxury watch”: 500+€ on a 35-55 years old target audience.

For the record a first-price Omega watch retails around 2,000€ ($2,800) in France; and they’re not the most expensive of watches…

This brings me to a question: in a world where luxury tends to be more and more accessible with some lower range products, does anyone has any idea of what the reality of the market is?