Shopping with the ultra-rich

  New Statesman 
While the British high street declines, Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols are turning over record profits, fuelled by a new kind of global consumer. " data-adaptive-image-768-img="" data-adaptive-image-max-img=""> Five years ago, when I was 20, I got a temp job as a shop assistant at Harrods. Every day, toes aching from my cheap plastic shoes, I smoothed expensive fabrics on hangers and helped Chinese millionaires select lizard-skin handbags. During this period, gainful employment was still a novelty, and I was surrounded by luxurious items that cost more than my monthly wage. This proximity to wealth was in equal parts dazzling and radicalising. I hadn’t thought about myself as someone interested in politics, until I was presented with naked concentrations of money. How were customers so rich? Why were staff comfortable with these asymmetries? And would it be arrogant to assume that if I had so much, I could resist the compulsion to blow it all on some

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