December 20, 2013 |
Bets on the top-performing retailer this holiday don't favor the storied haute couture companies - not Chanel with its $4,500 handbags, nor Neiman Marcus and its $150,000 bespoke falconry set. Instead, it's Michael Kors Holdings - an American sportswear brand from a sassy former "Project Runway" judge - that's roundly predicted to crush Christmas. The company is what's known as a bridge brand, operating on the low end of luxury. Its handbags generally cost less than $500. But the sector's mix of just-high-enough prices and accessible-yet-glamorous design makes brands such as Kors, Kate Spade and Tory Burch like catnip for consumers who are sick of curbing their spending but still wary of an uncertain economy.