Prospects bright for holiday sales among luxury consumers

Stevens, Pa. -- Luxury consumers picked up their pace of shopping in the third quarter, with luxury spending up 25.8% over last quarter, according to Unity Marketing's Luxury Tracking Survey. "The first half of 2012 showed affluent consumers restrained in spending on luxury goods and services, but spending rebounded strongly in the third quarter survey with signs pointing to rising demand during the critical fourth quarter," said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing.

Over half (52%) of affluent consumer surveyed feel they are financially better off today than twelve months ago; this measure hasn't been this high since first quarter 2011.

“Rising even more sharply is the percentage of luxury consumers who feel the country as a whole is doing better now as compared with three months ago,” Danziger said. “Some 37% of affluent surveyed feel the country is now moving in the right direction, up 15 percentage points from last quarter."

Unity Marketing is optimistic about prospects for the fourth quarter especially for retailers that attract affluent consumers, including both the upper-middle income HENRYS (high earners not rich yet with incomes $100,000 to $249,999) and the luxury-leaning ultra-affluents (top 2%, incomes $250,000 and above).

“These affluent consumers are the economy's 'heavy-lifters,' accounting for only 20% of U.S. households, but over 40% of all consumer spending,” Danziger said. “They drive the consumer economy overall and are the primary customers for retailers like Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Tiffany."

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