Thursday, June 28, 2007

Brighton Bag Memoirs

Mrs. Trifecta has a $275 Brighton bag. Hopefully it will be the last one she ever owns after today's Supreme court ruling. In a case that overturned a century of anti-trust law, the parent company of Brighton won a 5-4 ruling that allows manufacturers to forcibly fix a retail price that retailers aren't allowed to discount.

Brighton wanted their bags sold at a certain price. I am assuming this particular retailer thought they could move more bags for more profit in volume. Now, they can't. This is an incredibly anti-consumer decision. I am not a lawyer (IANAL), but my learned opinion is that this blows. If this manufacturer wants to sell bags at only one price, they are free to open up their own damned stores. Forcing small retailers to be stuck with product they can't sell just so the item's price makes it appear exclusive is offensive in many ways.

There are stores whose business model is selling last years $100 outfits for $20. They buy them from the big department stores who need to clear product for the next season. Savings are passed on to consumers who don't give a shit that this blouse was from last fall and therefore defective, lame, and embarrassing to wear. Will this business model end?

The conservative majority is really a pro-big corporation majority. Let's be honest.