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NorthStar Moving
As president of NorthStar Moving in Los Angeles, Ram Katalan began to see a sickening slide in his bookings about a year ago. When he realized his business was weakening most among middle-income clients, he refocused on the high-end market, which is less susceptible to economic fluctuations.

To attract luxury customers, Katalan, 43, expanded his premium services and launched new ones, including Photo Perfect Packing, in which every object is photographed and inventoried before being loaded onto a truck. Movers then arrange everything in the new home to correspond as closely as possible to the previous layout.

The service has been particularly popular with reality TV shows, including America's Next Top Model, which contracts with NorthStar to handle the temporary packing in homes borrowed for filming. NorthStar's premium services now account for about half of its jobs, up from 20% just four months ago.

"It's a lot more expensive," says Katalan. "But the people willing to pay for it are not as affected by the economy."

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LAST UPDATE: Oct 01 2008 | 2:12 PM ET
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