November 27, 2008 in City

Nordstrom offers ultimate gift list


Nothing says “Happy Holidays” quite like a $15,000 ethnic-print couch or a $50,000 private session with a celebrity photographer.

Nordstrom has introduced several over-the-top, one-of-a-kind items for sale on its Web site, hoping to put some cheer into an otherwise grinchlike holiday shopping season. Dubbed the “Ultimate Gift Collection,” it represents a first for the 107-year-old Seattle retailer.

Nordstrom began planning the collection three to four months ago, before the Lehman Brothers collapse and subsequent meltdown on Wall Street. The retailer says it’s optimistic some will spend big bucks for gifts that can’t be found anywhere else.

The items include:

•A family portrait session with photographer Sam Jones, whose famous subjects include George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Will Ferrell and Steve Martin. Two sessions are for sale at $50,000 each.

•A custom couch designed by Tory Burch, best known for 1960s- and ’70s-inspired tunics. The couch has a silk ikat-print fabric and is made by Century Furniture in Hickory, N.C. One is available for $15,000.

•A Juicy Couture armoire packed with an assortment of apparel, shoes, handbags and other accessories selected by the label’s founders, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor. Two are for sale at $15,000 each.

•A large, personalized painting by Ruben Toledo, a Cuba-born artist who illustrated Nordstrom’s designer ad campaign. It comes with an at-home consultation and professional installation. One is available at $200,000.

The concept of offering lavish, limited-edition items has a precedent at Dallas-based Neiman Marcus, which for the past 82 years has put out an annual Christmas catalog, often to much fanfare.


Red Lion OKs stock buyback

Red Lion Hotels Corp. directors have approved a $10 million buyback of common stock, the Spokane-based company announced Wednesday.

The purchases, if any, will be made privately, or on the open market.

Red Lion stock closed Wednesday at $3.57, down 10 cents for the day.

Shares have traded as low as $1.77 in the last 12 months, and as high as $10.53. There are almost 18.3 million shares outstanding.

In April, Red Lion rejected a proposed bid for the company at $9.50 per share. The offer has been withdrawn.

From staff and wire reports

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