LUXURY presents costing thousands of pounds are flying off the shelves in the Capital despite the ongoing recession, leading city stores have revealed.
Spendthrift shoppers have already cleared the shelves of the Celine classic box python bag at £3,100 from Harvey Nichols – leading store bosses to frantically reorder the style.
Other top sellers include a bottle of Louis XIII Remy Martin cognac costing £1925; Christian Louboutin black fringed suede boots for £1495 and Jenny Packham sequinned gowns for £2800.
A spokeswoman for Harvey Nichols said: “The most extravagantly priced bag we stock is the Celine Classic box python bag at £3,100; however, the price tag hasn’t put people, off as we have already sold out and had to reorder the style.
“We also have a waiting list for the Celine Mini Luggage and Trapeze styles, with some people having to wait up to six months to get their hands on the most coveted bag.”
Lingerie is also selling well, especially designer Stella McCartney’s new line – a three-piece set of robe, bra and knickers sells for £387.
One luxury item that will take some shifting, though, is a handmade Opera Two Girard-Perregaux watch from George Street jeweller Rox.
The timepiece, which takes 500 hours to assemble and features 37 jewels, an ivory dial, dark brown alligator strap and 18 carat pink gold case, can be someone’s to own for a cool £500,000.
Rox managing director Kyron Keogh said: “This is an incredibly rare and innovative timepiece which would take pride of place in any watch enthusiast’s collection.
“The demand for luxury watches in Edinburgh is incredible, proving that the luxury market in Edinburgh is buoyant despite the bite of the double dip recession.”
Harvey Nichols echoed this positive outlook: “Despite the economic climate the luxury end of the market is doing very well – what suffers when people are tightening their belts is the middle of the market.
“People are still astute and shrewd with their purchases, though, they are not just buying for the sake of it but considering their choices.”
Retail analysts Global Blue, which operates tax-free shopping services across thousands of UK outlets, said parts of Edinburgh such as George Street and Multrees Walk – home to several luxury brands – were now able to rival London’s Bond Street for high-end shopping. A study carried out by the firm this year found designer brands, such as Louis Vuitton, are popular with Chinese and Russian visitors, while Brazilians opt for the likes of Topshop.
The study also found tax-free spending was up 75 per cent year-on-year thanks to shoppers from growing economies.
Richard Brown, vice president of Global Blue UK, said: “Long regarded as a prime cultural tourist destination, Edinburgh is at last gaining recognition for its shopping offering.”
‘It’s about value for money’
Personal shopper Laura Russell has run her own business, Satisfashion, for the past six years, helping people choose what to buy and and where to buy it.
She said: “People are definitely willing to spend money on clothes and other luxury items but only on the right pieces and not just willy nilly.
“Business is good. People know that luxury items will last while fast fashion pieces, from say Primark, might only last a season – it’s all about value for money.
“I help three or four clients a week who would spend around £1000 on a new wardrobe of clothes.
“The other day I had a woman who spent £2000 on a number of new outfits and another who thought nothing of spending £500 on a new high quality leather jacket.
“Edinburgh is a great spot for shopping as it has lots of choice, a range of shops and is easy to get around.”