Study: Affluents Demand Specialty

In What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

luxuryshopping2Affluents want a specialized shopping experience and this can’t be found at all retailers. A new report from Unity Marketing’s latest ACTS Shopper Track Study shows that luxury shoppers are turning away from general merchandise retailers in favor of those offered by specialty retailers.

According to Unity Marketing, affluent shoppers make up only 20% of all households, yet they account for upwards of 50% of all retail spending and represent the “high-potential, high-spending customers on which every retailers’ success depends.”  Whether they are positioned at the high-end, low-end or middle-market price ranges, this shopper is crucial.

While affluents spent 0.4% less overall shopping in general merchandise stores, they picked up the pace of spending in specialty retail by 9.4%  from 2014 to 2015.  The specialty retailing sectors that benefited the most included sunglass/optical stores, home specialty, personal care/beauty, liquor/wine, art galleries and custom framing stores.

Reimagine the Experience

To adequately target this affluent and her changing demands for more unique, specialty experiences, general merchandise retailers should pay attention to what specialty retailers do and not try to be all things to all shoppers. In fact, the survey calls on general merchandise retailers to reimagine their shopping experience to a more specialized for those needs of the affluent, high-spending customers.

One example cited by the study is Macy’s recent acquisition of beauty specialty retailer Bluemercury. While Macy’s will continue to operate the brand’s stand alone stores, it has plans to bring separate Bluemercury boutiques (with its distinctive customer service strategy) into Macy’s stores.

Unity Marketing’s latest ACTS Shopper Track study  surveyed 1,313 affluents with an average income $258.7K.

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