Saks. Gadgets. Seriously?
No, it was the photo in the e-mail that took me aback. The e-mails I get from Saks usually include a picture of a luscious handbag, a sleek shoe or a frothy frock -- each of them worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The e-mail I got yesterday was different: it had a photo of two models of Garmin GPS navigators.
I thought: Get serious. This might be the feeblest little blip on the recession-marketing radar I've seen yet. Sure, a GPS system is a lot more practical than an ostrich-skin tote.
But until today, I never even realized Saks carried electronics -- and other than the ultimate directionless, rich gift buyer, I can't imagine anyone who would ever go to Saks for gadgets.
But there it was on the Saks Web site -- a full range of Garmins. I did some more research and realized that the store isn't alone -- Neiman Marcus carries electronics ranging from Bose speakers to Panasonic razors.
In a time when stores like Saks are trying to cut costs by doing things like closing their bridal boutiques nationwide -- and in a time when we have stores like Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart and Best Buy -- doesn't it make sense for upscale department stores to lose the electronics?
I'd like to hear from readers on this one. Have any of you ever purchased a gadget at an upscale department store -- or can you think of a reason why you would?