03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Bleak Is The New Black

In the luxury-goods business, bleak is the new black.

After four years of galloping growth, the good times for high-end brands -- long considered the most resilient retail segment -- have abruptly ground to a halt.

The consumer slowdown now appears to be affecting companies across the entire luxury industry, from those that sell only at the very highest end to those that in recent years have expanded into "affordable luxury" items within reach of the middle class.

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