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From Home Furnishing Business

Study Says Affluent Consumers Will Build Savings This Year

While affluent consumer confidence as measured by Unity Marketing's Luxury Consumption Index rose slightly in early January, the latest survey forecasting spending and purchases among the affluent shoppers shows they are more likely to save and invest any financial gains they accumulate over the next 12 months, rather than pick up the pace of spending on luxury or high-end goods and services.

The "heavy-lifting" top 20 percent express improvement in their personal financial situation yet signal caution about present and future luxury spending.
"In early January the affluents see their personal financial situation improved over the past three months and they foresee continued improvement for the rest of the year," said Pam Danziger president of Unity Marketing, Stevens, Pa. "However, only 22 percent of the over 1,300 luxury consumers surveyed expect to spend more on luxury or high-end goods and services in 2014.

"The past two years started out much stronger. For example, at the beginning of 2011 some 28 percent of those surveyed expected to spend more on luxury and at the beginning of 2012 some 26 percent signaled they planned to spend more. That means 2014 is shaping up to be challenging for companies and brands that target the affluent heavy-lifting shoppers, who make up only 20 percent of U.S. households, but account for more than 40 percent of total consumer spending. Marketers need to understand the consumers' cautions and position their brands as a value proposition that is an investment in their lifestyle that will deliver greater comfort, beauty and quality."  
The latest survey was conducted among 1,335 affluent consumers, with average income of $260,000 and average age of 47.5 years, who purchased one or more luxury or high-end goods and services during the fourth quarter 2013.

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