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Few can keep up with Kardashians' $65 million income
LOS ANGELES - A slew of reality shows, product endorsements and a dizzying range of retail items have made the Kardashians, a Calabasas family with a knack for making cash, hard to keep up with. The family's retail assault of everything from self-tanners to candles to clothes, perfume and even bottled water has helped Kardashian Inc. rake in an estimated $65 million last year, The Los Angeles Times reports. Sisters Kim, Kourtney and Khloe have also self-promoted and endorsed a variety of products, cashing in on the fame of their reality shows on the E! cable television network. Kim has taken on endorsement deals with Midori liqueur and Skechers shoes.This year, the sisters are slated to open Kardashian Khaos, a store at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas. There have also been some failed ventures. The Kardashian Kard, a pre-paid debit card, quickly fizzled after an outcry about high fees, and listeners turned down Kim's unmemorable dance-floor song "JAM (Turn It Up)." At least one analyst says the Kardashians are in danger of overextending their personal brand. "The Kardashians are a great example of, in my mind, talentless celebrities, or celebrity for celebrity's sake, who took advantage of their looks, a sex tape, a lot of pretty raw and low-level stuff that titillated and fascinated the American public," Eli Portnoy, a marketing and branding expert, told the Times. Not unlike Paris Hilton, Kim's rise to fame came after a sex tape she made with her then-boyfriend was released. One deal Portnoy said he's dubious of is a recent agreement with Sears to launch the Kardashian Kollection this year. It will sell clothes, shoes, lingerie and accessories. The family's boutique Dash has been selling fashion-forward clothing for years. "In my mind, Sears and the Kardashians are not consistent at all. It hurts both properties," Portnoy told the Times. "That one strictly comes off as about more greed, more money. The producer of the collection, Jupi Corp. President Bruno Schiavi, defended the collection and the collaboration, noting that other celebrities had partnered with Sears Holdings Corp., including Martha Stewart, who has teamed with Sears-owned Kmart.