New York—Retail analysts are anxiously awaiting Nordstrom’s first quarter earnings report on Thursday afternoon in order to get a clearer picture of how the luxury market is doing. If affluent shoppers are continuing to spend—or spend more—that bodes well for the economy as a whole.
But if you ask affluent shoppers which store they like to shop in, the likely answer may be Nordstrom.
According to the 2012 Luxury Consumer Experience Index (LCEI) survey by the independent and objective Luxury Institute, affluent shoppers (earnings of $150,000 a year and more) gave Nordstrom an 8.41 out of 10 when asked to evaluate store personnel, shopping environment and degree of satisfaction with the total experience.
The next closest retailers were Bergdorf Goodman at 8.37 and Barneys New York at 8.23.
Moreover, LCEI found that Nordstrom is the most widely visited luxury retailer, with 36% of respondents reporting shopping at Nordstrom in the past 12 months.
Only 7% of shoppers have visited Barneys, and 6% have shopped at Bergdorf Goodman, but exclusivity helps with pricing: 76% of Bergdorf’s shoppers and 74% of Barneys’ say that merchandise in those stores are worth a significant price premium; 65% say the same about Nordstrom’s merchandise.
“Retailers, especially in luxury, are selling experiences to customers more than they are selling any particular good,” said Milton Pedraza, ceo at Luxury Institute. “In the case of a retailer like Nordstrom, we see that a program of continuous improvement in the customer experience can lead to higher degrees of loyalty and improved financial performance.”
Nordstrom to be Honored at FABB on Wednesday
In addition to its top overall LCEI score, Nordstrom ranks first on two critical measures of customer loyalty: 96% of high-income shoppers plan to shop at Nordstrom again, and 94% recommend Nordstrom to family and close friends.
Survey participants reported average income of $292,000 and average net worth of $3 million.
Nordstrom is being honored on Wednesday in New York at the Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball (FABB) where the retailer will received the 2012 FABB Achievement Award.
Last week, Nordstrom reported its April comparable store sales rose 7.1% easily beating analysts’ average forecast for a 5.8% gain. The Seattle-based retailers also reported its first quarter revenue rose 8.5%.
About the Luxury Institute
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices.The Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises. www.LuxuryInstitute.com)