In the genes: Retail blue blood opens discount club

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Elizabeth Sieff, a descendant of the Marks & Spencer founding family, has given up her high-flying City banking career to launch a new club called Little Emperors.

The club will offer members discounts on products at more than 800 retailers, including shoes at Jimmy Choo and underwear from La Perla. Others range from top restaurants such as Sketch and Scotts to hotels like the Ritz and La Yaca in St Tropez. Retailing is clearly in the genes as she's managed to get discounts of up to 25 per cent on many of the luxury fashion labels, 65 per cent off NCP Carparks and a 15 per cent cut from a VIP dog walking service.

A former oil and gas emerging markets banker, Seiff will charge members £575 a year for the privilege of joining Little Emperors, but says that the savings members will make from using the discounts means they will make their money back quickly "if you use these services all the time". It's a perfect antidote to our more thrifty era, she says: "Those who live luxuriously don't have to downsize their lives because of the credit crunch."