Not that many ordinary Brazilians can afford the bobbles. At Cidade Jardim, an open-air mall with views of Sao Paulo’s business districts, a Cartier Tank Anglaise watch, in gold and steel, costs 32,700 reais, the equivalent of $9,326 (€8,395).
On Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the
watch costs $580 more, taking various sales taxes into account. Similar deals were found at Prada, Tiffany & Co, and Christian Louboutin.
But many high-end items have actually gotten cheaper in dollar terms because of a quirk of the luxury-goods industry. Louis Vuitton, Prada and many others don’t adjust prices very often, and many tolerate narrower profit margins in Brazil to partially offset high import levies and sales taxes.