Trouble on the Luxury Front

Hmmm. Not such good news. Both Movado and Williams-Sonoma warned about their outlooks.

Regarding Movado:

Movado is one of many consumer goods companies trying to cope with uncertain consumer spending in a slowing economy. The Paramus company plans to restructure the way it sells the namesake Movado brand, and it will talk about plans for its eight other brands, including Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger, when it re leases fourth-quarter earnings today.

"It's going to be a tough year because they are going to do the restructuring, and the economy is weakening," Standard & Poor's analyst Jason Asaeda said. "People might be trading down to lower- priced watches."

Consumers are under enormous financial pressure from the plunge in housing sales, a volatile stock market that has eroded their net worth and a dramatic surge in food and energy prices, which is unlikely to abate any time soon. Consumer confidence in March plunged to its lowest level since the Iraq war began in 2003.

And Williams-Sonoma:

Williams-Sonoma eked out a 3% rise in fourth-quarter profits, beating its lowered targets, but the home-goods seller offered a weaker-than-expected outlook for the coming year as the housing slump continues to sap demand.
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