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Luxury Spending Up 6.6 Percent in U.S.

While confidence in the U.S. economy continues to fluctuate, affluent consumers remain committed to maintaining their luxury lifestyles. In 2006 American affluent consumers continued to spend significant amounts of money indulging in luxury goods and services.

The typical luxury consumer’s spending on luxuries rose 6.6 percent to reach $56,065, following an increase of 3.8 percent in spending in 2005, according to the newly released Luxury Report 2007 – The Ultimate Guide to the Luxury Consumer Market from Unity Marketing.

“The Luxury Report 2007 is the authoritative source on the buying and spending habits of the luxury consumer,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses as well as the Classes.

“It is based upon surveys of over 4,000 luxury consumers with an average household income of $149,800 and age 43.1 years. The report tracks trends in the luxury market from 2005 and 2006. It provides a wealth of information for luxury marketers who must make business decisions based upon facts about the luxury consumer, not beliefs, assumptions or fantasies.”

The Luxury Report 2007 provides details about what luxury consumers bought, how much they spent, where they made their purchases, and in certain categories, the luxury brands they purchased.

According to the Luxury Report 2007, spending on luxury experiences declined slightly in 2006, with spending on home and personal luxuries on the upswing. This reverses a trend from 2005 when spending on experiences rose, while home luxury spending declined over 2004. Spending on luxury automobiles remained flat from 2005 to 2006.

Young Affluents Spent Most Lavishly on Luxury Goods Last Year and Are the Key to Future Growth in the Luxury Market

“In 2006 the most vibrant segment in the luxury market was the young affluents — the high-income, 40 year old and under consumers. I call them the ‘Want-It-All’ generation because they are such active purchasers of luxury, especially luxury goods,” Danziger says.

“The young affluents spent a stunning 31.9 percent more on luxury in 2006 than the over 40 year olds. Young affluents have a ravenous appetite to enhance their lifestyles through luxury goods. Their hyperactive spending contributed to the shifts we found toward more luxury goods spending in 2006. But they are hardly slackers when it comes to enjoying luxury experiences. They spent just about the same as the older luxury consumers on luxury experiences in 2006.”

Unity Marketing has recently published a study that examines the emerging young affluent luxury market. Called the Generations of Luxury study, it investigates the young affluents market and defines he nine key trends that distinguish the young affluents from the older luxury consumers.

“The Luxury Report 2007 and the Generations of Luxury study are sister publications that will be invaluable tools for luxury marketers who need to understand both where the luxury market is today and where it is going tomorrow,” Danziger says.

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