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Survey Finds Strong Confidence Among Luxury Customers

Furniture Industry News Update - Furniture World Magazine
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Unity Marketing's latest survey of affluent consumer confidence found a strong upturn in their feelings about their financial status and prospects for the future. As a result, luxury consumers picked up their pace of shopping in the past quarter, with luxury spending up 25.8 percent over last quarter. This according to Unity Marketing's Luxury Tracking Survey conducted October 9-15, 2012 among 1,289 affluent consumers (avg. income $290.6k; avg. age 44 years.)

Pam Danziger, Unity Marketing, will host a webinar on November 15 at noon to present an executive summary of the latest survey results.

"During the first half of 2012 affluent consumers were restrained in their spending on luxury goods and services, but they picked up the pace strongly in luxury spending during the third quarter survey," Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury: How new consumer values are redefining the way we market luxury.

"Over half (52 percent) of affluent consumer surveyed feel they are financially better off today than twelve months ago; this measure hasn't been this high since 1Q2011. Rising even more sharply is the percentage of luxury consumers who feel the country as a whole is doing better now as compared with three months ago. Some 37 percent of affluent surveyed feel the country is now moving in the right direction, up 15 percentage points from last quarter," Danziger says.

Rising affluent consumer confidence is sparking a pick up in spending on luxuries, with these categories posting the strongest quarter-over-quarter increase:
  • Luxury clothing and apparel, with spending up 95.2 percent over second quarter;
  • Luxury kitchenware and cooks' tools, up 83.1 percent;
  • Luxury beauty, cosmetics, fragrances, up 75.4 percent;
  • Luxury dining, up 67.7 percent; and
  • Luxury fashion accessories, up 52.2 percent.

"Throughout 2011 and 2012, luxury consumer spending has mostly followed a downward trajectory, with their feelings of consumer confidence as measured by the Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) weak over the same period. Finally in the latest survey, we see a shift toward growing confidence which should give marketers that target all income levels a boost. After all, the affluent consumers we survey are the economy's 'heavy lifters,' accouting for only 20 percent of U.S. households but over 40 percent of all consumer spending," Danziger explains.

Unity Marketing has been calculating the LCI since first quarter 2004 based upon five key measures of luxury consumer confidence including their expectations for future spending on luxury, their personal financial conditions and their overall assessment of the economy as a whole, in surveys conducted every three months among over 1,200 affluent luxury consumers. This quarter's luxury tracking survey, conducted from October 9-15, 2012, took the measure of 1,289 luxury consumers (average income $290.6k; avg. age 44 years; median net worth $797k.)

Unity Marketing will host a 30-minute webinar at noon November 15 e.s.t. to review the results of the latest Luxury Tracking Survey and what the Luxury Consumption Index projects for the next six months. Click this link to register


About Pam Danziger and Unity Marketing: Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights for marketers targeting the affluent consumer. She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992. Pam received the Global Luxury Award for top luxury industry achievers presented at the Global Luxury Forum in 2007 by Harper's Bazaar.

Pam gives luxury marketers "All Access" to the mind of the luxury consumer. She uses qualitative and quantitative market research to learn about their brand preferences, shopping habits, and attitudes about their luxury lifestyles, then turns these insights into actionable strategies for marketers to use to reach these high spending consumers. Unity Marketing is the voice of the luxury consumer for such clients as PPR, Diageo, Starwood, Tempur-Pedic, Google, Swarovski, Constellation Wines, Luxottica, Orient-Express Hotels, Italian Trade Commission, Marie Claire magazine, The World Gold Council, and The Conference Board.

Pam's latest book is Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury: How new consumer values are redefining the way we market luxury (Paramount Market Publishing, 2011). Her other books include Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience, published by Kaplan Publishing in October 2006; Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses-as well as the Classes, (Dearborn Trade Publishing, $27, hardcover) and Why People Buy Things They Don't Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior (Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2004).

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