Ultra-Wealthy Shoppers Rate Top Retailers for Cultivating Relationships

In What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

Photographer Ellen Von Unwerth's shot for Glamour of Lily Collins shopping Bergdorf Goodman.

Photographer Ellen Von Unwerth’s shot for Glamour of Lily Collins shopping Bergdorf Goodman.

New York—You don’t have to have a net worth of $5 million or more to know that high-end retailers, such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus are known for having expert, knowledgeable sales associates.

But in its recent survey of “pentamillionaires,” The Luxury Institute asked consumers with net worths of $5 million or more about their favorite retailers to shop at and which ones had the best sales professionals.

Nordstrom garnered the largest share of pentamillionaire purchasers, with a majority of ultra-wealthy consumers buying something from the Seattle-based retailer in the last year. Rounding out the top three in terms of popularity are Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus.

“Marquee names selling higher-ticket luxury items make up for a lack of widespread appeal with deeper customer relationships,” according to the Institute. Sales professionals at both Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus rise above the competition in building relationships with pentamillionaire clients.

Similarly, Bergdorf Goodman’s market share among ultra-wealthy shoppers is just one-fourth the size of Nordstrom’s, but the prevalence of customer-salesperson relationships at Bergdorf is triple the rate at Nordstrom.

Sales professionals at more mainstream retailers like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s are far less likely to have cultivated exclusive relationships, the study found. Relationships are more prevalent among women than men, and those under the age of 65 compared to those who are older.

“Technology may make it easier for sales professionals to maintain relationships,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “But simple and personalized approaches like follow-up phone calls or handwritten thank you notes still prove tremendously effective.”

Respondents also ranked the comparative importance of the qualities they seek in sales professionals—such as recognizing them when they visit the store, receiving calls and emails with special product offers, and “making them feel comfortable.”

About 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. In addition, the Institute works closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises.

The Luxury 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


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