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Monday, 28 February 2011

The “Age of Austerity” means probably the end for lifestyle magazines

Yesterday I was flipping through the pages of one of those lifestyle magazines you get for free with your credit card. During the reading about luxury kitchens, far away travels and expensive personal care products, I realized that the number of these kinds of magazines has reduced dramatically since 2008.

In 2008 every waiting room at the doctor, dentist, physiotherapist and even the hairdresser was littered with lifestyle magazines about:
-         expensive yachts;
-         expensive automobiles;
-         expensive Italian clothes and shoes;
-         expensive travels
-         expensive beauty resorts and health spas.

Even my normally quite normal newspaper published at least 3 times a magazine about expensive Swiss mechanical watches. The message of these magazines was that only a loser would still have a Japanese quartz watch. You know the one from Seiko,Casio or Citizen that suited you fine for 20 years and that was always on the spot when it came to precision.

Real guys would wear a $5,000 IWC Schaffhausen mechanical watch and the real trendsetters would wear a $15,000 Jaeger-Lecoultre or Patek Philippe watch in 18 carat with a zillion mechanical functions, possibly with 100 brilliant cut diamonds for the Mrs.

Remember those guys with watches the size of church clocks around their wrist? And… do you still see them? And do they not look like a complete fool? Even the average Goldman-Sachs employee has now something a little bit more tasteful around his wrist.

The Age of Austerity (if I may use this expression, courtesy of Minyanville) has come over us and it came with the message that you could survive without the Swiss wrist watch, the expensive Italian costume and the $250 perfume. And that a holiday in Spain (for Europeans) or Mexico is just as nice as a 3 week diving holiday on the Maldives. And to be honest, except for the diving the Maldives are quite boring.

As every battle has its losers, I am afraid that the losers of this battle are the lifestyle magazines. But hey, I can do without them, can you?

Live long (and frugal) and prosper.

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