In addition to selling Louboutins and Givenchy bags, Barneys is about to begin offering extremely expensive weed paraphernalia, partially because there’s now a market for extremely expensive weed paraphernalia, but also because Our True Lord and Savior, Instagram, demands it.
According to the New York Times, Barneys is hoping to capitalize on the increasing acceptability of weed with the debut of “High End,” a boutique within the larger store dedicated to selling upscale grinders, rolling papers and pipes at ghastly prices. (Example: A $950 bong. Kill me!)
This isn’t too surprising; legal pot in North America was a $10.4 billion industry in 2018, and it’s expected to hit $16 billion in 2019. But more than just an easy scheme to attract deep-pocketed stoners, Barneys is also hoping that a social-media friendly marketing blitz will help keep their brick-and-mortar stores relevant. As Daniella Vitale, the chief executive and president of Barneys, told the Times:
“If someone is going to come into a physical store, they really expect more than product, because product, unfortunately, is available in a million different places,” Ms. Vitale said. “We want to make sure there is an entertainment value here.”
“Social media happens in an environment, it happens in a restaurant, in a fitting room,” Ms. Vitale added. “It’s not happening by watching someone at their desktop shopping online. We need to make sure we’re creating a backdrop for that.”
High End (not bad, gotta say) will open in the company’s Beverly Hills location in March, with other California locations to follow suit.