Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 99 Cent Store Slumming of Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills represents the pinnacle of Hollywood luxury. Forget Malibu, Brentwood, Holmby Hills and Bel Air; we all know of Beverly Hills. Such is the cachet of Beverly Hills that buyers will pay a premium for a house just outside of Beverly Hills as long as it has the magical Beverly Hills zip code 90210.

We all wish we could shop on Rodeo Drive. Jut walking along Rodeo drive causes nose bleeds.

Maybe we will be able to shop on Rodeo Drive shortly without tapping out the home equity.

Beverly Hill is going downhill. The decline began when the Beverly Hillbillies moved in. Troop Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and Beverly Hills Ninja didn’t help.

Down and Out in Beverly Hills and the Slums of Beverly Hills convey the wrong image of the city.

Beverly Hills Cops, as portrayed thrice by Eddie Murphy, were unable to arrest Pretty Woman, a high class prostitute, or a modern Cinderella or Pygmalion, who hung out at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Then we have The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, aka the Really Desperate Attention Seeking Housewives of Beverly Hills, vying with the Busty Housewives of Beverly Hills.

The tales of the Beverly Hills Housewives are much more gripping, literally and figuratively, than their counterparts in Orange County, New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, and D.C.

In real time the Menendez Brothers killed their parents and then sought mercy by claiming to be orphans. Bugsy Siegel, the founder of modern Las Vegas, was murdered in Beverly Hills.

The city of 34,109 sits above the Beverly Hills Oil Field, but allows only one oil well within the confines of the city, which is on the site of the Beverly Hills High School, alma mater of the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The well is accused of poisoning the faculty, staff, and students at the high school. Check out Joy Horowitz’ descriptive book Parts Per Million: The Poisoning of Beverly Hills High School (2007).

Erin Brockovich was the lead in bringing a lawsuit by the victims against the school district. The plaintiffs did not experience a Hollywood ending. They lost.

Fortunately for the image of Beverly Hills High School, Monica Lewinsky transferred out.

Beverly Hills has survived all such challenges to date to its image, but the real test has arrived. This one cannot be laughed off.

One of the nation’s most successful retailers is eyeing Beverly Hills for expansion. It’s willing to pay the $500/square foot asking price on Rodeo Drive.

It’s not Apple, Target, WalMart, Costco, or Nordstrom’s. there's no need for a Home depot or Loew's in Beverly Hills.

The Beverly Hills retailing wannabe is a cheapie. No Haute Couture for this store. No pretentiousness; no ambience, no glitter no marble. Maybe some bling though.

The 99 Cent Stores is seeking a site on Rodeo Drive.  Its existing store on the outskirts of Beverly Hills grosses $12 million annually. That’s amazing since everything in the store is priced at 99 cents.

We may be able to shop on Rodeo drive. So could the maids who work in the city, not to mention the homeless who campout nearby. Stroll Beverly Hills. Walk past Armani, Barneys New York, Brooks Brothers, Bulgari, Cartier, Coach, Dior, Gearys, Gucci, Harry Winston, Lacoste, Lalique, Llado, Neiman Marcus, Niketown, Prada, Saks Fifth Avenue, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany, Valentino, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes Benz, and Rolls Royce, and drop into the 99 Cent Store with the two red 9's. 

The 1%, who reside in Beverly Hills, will experience reality.

If the 99 Cent Store comes to pass, we may witness the slumming of Beverly Hills.

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