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What Recession?

'Tis the season for overblown catalogs.

5:10 PM, Dec 1, 2010 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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Oftentimes, the way to grow a business is by purchasing a similar business's mailing list. And so what started as a simple purchase from Crate and Barrel leads to a mailbox full of Williams & Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, and Pottery Barn catalogs—not to mention all the various subcategories such as Pottery Barn Kids, and those multiple issues of Williams & Sonoma December 2010, Williams & Sonoma Christmas 2010, Williams & Sonoma Holiday issue, and Williams & Sonoma Winter 2010, or something like that. (The overflow can even drive a person mad, as Kramer once demonstrated on Seinfeld.)

What Recession?

But eventually you start receiving catalogs from places of which you've never heard. Our house now gets one from a place called Frontgate: "Outfitting America's Finest Homes." It's an awfully nice-looking catalog, but, in these times, a bit excessive. Case in point: The Marie Antoinette Pet Bed from the Chateau Pet Bed Collection: "Drawing inspiration from French antique furniture, our Marie Antoinette Pet Bed is designed to surround your pet with regal splendor evocative of European aristocracy. Opulent, plush, and richly embellished, this bed will make any pet feel like royalty." And all for the modest price of $699.

Depending on the number of these pet beds purchased, perhaps we can take it as a positive sign that economic conditions are improving. Either that or the apocalypse is at hand.

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