Despite the somewhat rocky economy, Hermés, a retailer of upscale leather accessories and fancy silk scarves, can hardly keep their shelves stocked with their toney merchandise. Hermés’ starter Birkin leather handbag retails for $6,130. The upscale retailer tallied a 24 % increase in their third quarter with sales of €848.6 million Euros (roughly equivalent to $668.2 million US dollars) (WSJ, Nadya Masidlover, 11-9-12, B4).
So, what does it take to be a member of this rarified target market that plops down over $6,000.00 for a Hermés starter handbag?
Interestingly, a recent Gallup poll found a majority of Americans think it would take an annual income of $150,000 to “be rich”. Fifteen percent of Americans feel they would need at least $1 million a year in income to be a member of the jet set. And, it appears that the more we make, the more we think we need to “be rich”.
Those who make less than the U.S. median family household of $50,000 feel they need $100,000 to “be rich”. Those who earn more than the $50,000 mark feel they would need $200,000 per year to “be rich”. Those that make $75,000 or more per year feel they would need $250,000 per year to “be rich” (Jeffrey Jones, 12-8-2011, Gallup.com).
Apparently, more is never enough. As author and Psychologist April Lane Benson quips on the back cover of Shiny Objects, “that we can never get enough of what we really don’t need”.