Study: Ultra-Wealthy Spend More on Experiences, Less on Accessories?

In What's New, Industry News by Jeff Prine

Wealthy ShoppersNew York—Although a new survey of ultra-wealthy U.S. consumers by the Luxury Institute found pentamillionaires plan to spend more money this year on travel, dining out and their wine cellars, 80% said luxurygoods are less important.

In its 2013 State of the Luxury Industry report released Tuesday, the Luxury Institute surveyed pentamillionaires consumers—those with a net worth of at least $5 million and with a minimum household income of $200,000—on their spending plans for the rest of the year.

According to the survey, “jewelry sales especially may be under some pressure, with 25% of the ultra-wealthy saying they will spend less or much less through the remainder of 2013. Handbags are the focus of planned spending cutbacks by 20% of those surveyed.”

Emphasis: ‘Unrivaled Quality, Craftsmanship, Service’

Milton Pedraza, Luxury Institute’s chief executive, said: “Even among the wealthiest consumers, luxury goods and services are considered less important in today’s economy. Luxury brands can capture these increasingly discerning ultra-wealthy consumers by providing unrivaled quality, craftsmanship and service.”

What will these affluent consumers be spending more on? A third plan to spend more on leisure travel. Another 20% of the ultra-wealthy plan to spend “more” or “much more” on dining out, and 19% plans to spend more on wine. Other areas of increased spending include health & fitness (17%) and vacation real estate (17%).

Similarly, Bain & Co. along with Atlagamma, an Italian luxury trade association, recently released their 2013 luxurygoods survey that forecast only 4% to 5% rise in worldwide luxurygoods sales this year compared to a 10% increase last year (at constant exchange rates). The study attributed the decrease to continued slow sales in Europe and a slowdown in luxury spending in Asia-Pacific.

The Bain study also forecast a compound yearly growth rate in luxurygoods sales of 5% to 6% a year between 2013 to 2015—with some additional positive news for luxury marketers: total size of the luxurygoods market is expected to reach 250 billion euros (about $273 billion) by 2015.


Belk Q1 Profit Falls 30% Due to Costs, Sales Rise
See Iconic Fashion Jewelry at MAD Museum Exhibit