12/08/2011 07:17 EST

Income Inequality: 11 Products And Services For The Super-Rich


From first-class-only airlines to boutique banks to underwater hotels, it's never been better to be rich.

As the middle class shrinks, and with it the middle class consumer market, many companies are shifting their attention from traditional brand lines to discount items for the economically struggling and luxury items for the well-off.

Walmart Canada, for instance, is shifting gears to focus on low-end items -- but also launching a line of luxury products. The same is true for Procter & Gamble, the company behind brands such as Charmin, Old Spice and Tide. It's a reflection of the growing poverty at the bottom end of the income scale, and the much more pronounced explosion of wealth at the top end of the scale.

More on income inequality at Mind The Gap: OECD: Canada's Income Gap Highest On Record..Which Cities Have The Fastest Ghettoization?Calgary's Energy Boom Masks A Growing Divide..Full Coverage..

This trend seems to be more noticeable in the United States than in other parts of the developed world, but add to it the rapid rise of a super-rich class in Asia, and the development of ultra-cheap consumer products like cars and laptops, and you have arguably a new business model, built around the needs and wants of the poor -- and the super-rich.

Here we take a look at the top end of that equation -- the way the economy is reshaping itself around products and services for the rich.

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