The very wealthy are nearing the limits of what they are willing to spend as the luxury-retail business relies on price increases to drive sales, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. In the past five years, the price of a Chanel quilted handbag, for example, has increased 70 percent to US$4,900, the report said. Spending on luxury apparel, leather goods, watches, jewelry and cosmetics reached US$390 billion last year but growth is starting to slow from its postrecession pace, according to Boston Consulting Group. Sales of such items rose 7 percent last year, down from the 11 percent from 2010 to 2012, and could hover around 6 percent for the next few years, the report quoted the firm as saying.
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