Guillotine watch: Paris has become a high-risk zone for the super-rich

The criminals of Paris have targeted super-rich visitors in a string of daring robberies — one gang broke into Kim Kardashian's hotel room, tied her up, and stole millions in jewels; another carjacked a pair of rich Qatari sisters' Bentley and made off with $5.3m in valuables; another one tried to rob Bollywood star Mallika Sherawat after gassing them, but botched the job.

Unsurprisingly, Paris is losing its lustre as a playground for the wealthy. Turnover in exclusive boutiques and hotels has fallen off a cliff, with the business seemingly diverted to Switzerland and London.

The mayor's office has announced a EUR10M surveillance revamp to protect rich visitors.

"There's no question in my mind that these robberies will play heavily on the mind of shoppers and travelers from the Gulf," Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, a Saudi Arabian princess who is editor of Vogue Arabia, said following the Kardashian West attack in October. "We've supported the city, and its luxury houses, for a long time. But people will think twice about visiting, for sure."

In recent years Paris has brought in more than 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion) in luxury-sales revenue annually, according to Bain & Company, the business management consultancy, with almost two-thirds of that from foreign visitors. So the Paris-based titans of the luxury industry are going to new lengths to keep those shoppers coming back.

Paris Fights the Effects of Crimes Against the Very Rich [Elizabeth Paton/NYT]

(via Naked Capitalism)