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Who Buys Source

A 2008 survey by The Luxury Institute revealed that married women in households earning $150,000 or more make 64% of the overall consumer product buying decisions. In these households, women make 68% of the appliance decisions, 61% of travel decisions, 48% of decisions involving healthcare plans and providers, 48% of the home improvement purchase decisions, 40% of the automobile purchase decisions, and 31% of real estate decisions.

Luxury Institute, 2008

The American Affluence Research Center has identified the wealthiest 10% of all U.S. households as being 11.2 million strong, with an average yearly household income of $256,000 and a net worth of $3.1 million. This group accounts for 36% of total personal income and two-thirds of the personal wealth of all Americans.

American Affluence Research Center, 2007

According to research by Unity Marketing, there are some 32.5 million affluent households in the U.S. today, with approximately 75% of them falling into the $75,000-$149,900 income category.

Unity Marketing, 2007

California has the highest number of households with incomes of $150,000+, at 1.3 million, followed by New York, with 668,000. The District of Columbia has the highest percentage of citizens who are wealthy, however, followed by New Jersey and Connecticut.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to the Luxury Institute, among U.S. households with incomes of $150,000+, 6.5 million are White, 527,000 are Asian, 372,000 are Hispanic, and 312,000 are Black.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to a survey of 4,000 luxury consumers (average household income of $149,800), 62% of them were women and 38% were men. The average age of the respondents was 43.1 years, with 50% being Baby Boomers while 36% were GenXers.

Unity Marketing, 2007

A survey of affluent consumers (average income of $155,500) by Unity Marketing found that during the second quarter of 2007, younger affluents (40 years old and younger) spent 39% more on luxury items than those over the age of 40.

Unity Marketing, 2007

A 2007 report by the Boston Consulting Group concluded that consumers with incomes between $30,000 and $80,000 represent up to 70% of purchases at some luxury retailers.

Boston Consulting Group, 2007

A 2007 study of wealthy Americans by the Luxury Institute found that women are more involved than men in the purchase of jewelry, fine china and glassware, home furnishings and bathroom fixtures. The survey also showed that men make final buying decisions in electronics, in addition to matters involving insurance.

Luxury Institute, 2007

A 2007 survey by the Luxury Home Council found that the majority of luxury home buyers are aged 40-50 (48%) or 50-65 (44%).

Luxury Home Council, 2007

Research by Unity Marketing revealed that GenX consumers spent 6.3% more on luxury products in 2005 than their affluent Baby Boomer counterparts, with GenX households averaging $52,781 compared to $49,672 for Boomers. The biggest gap was in the home luxury goods category, where GenXers spent 28% more than Boomers on average.

Unity Marketing, 2006

Occupations of affluent Americans (household incomes of $85,000+): Management, business/finance, 38%; professional and related, 28%; sales and office, 17%; service, 6%; other, 11%.
  

Mendelsohn Media Research, 2006


Why They Buy Source

A 2007 survey of consumers with household incomes averaging $250,000 asked the participants to name the luxury brands with the best salespeople: 1. Lexus; 2. Nordstrom; 3. BMW; 4. Mercedes; 5. Tiffany; 6. Neiman Marcus; 7. Cadillac; 8. (tie) Acura, Four Seasons and Infiniti.

Luxury Institute, 2007

Based on a 2007 survey of high-income consumers conducted by the Luxury Institute, the most important attribute that a luxury goods/services salesperson must possess is a thorough knowledge of the product they are selling. 

Luxury Institute, 2007

A 2007 survey by the Luxury Institute showed that more than 80% of wealthy consumers use ratings and reviews Web sites to facilitate their purchasing decisions.

Luxury Institute, 2007

How They Buy Source

A 2007 survey of wealthy consumers (average household income of $307,000) asked the respondents what types of products they buy made-to-order: Home furnishings, 57%; jewelry, 56%; homes, 42%; men's dress shirts, 40%; men's suits, 38%; cars, 27%. Forty-two percent of wealthy men and women have bought made-to-order products, with Tiffany & Co. being the most popular made-to-order brand.

Luxury Institute, 2007

Based on research by Unity Marketing, almost 80% of affluent customers (average income of $159,000) belong to one or more loyalty/reward programs (airlines, credit card, hotels or specific retailers).

Unity Marketing, 2007

Of those affluent households ($85,000+ income) that purchased the following products, how much they spent, on average: Women's apparel, $1,319; men's apparel, $809; fragrances, cosmetics, lotions and creams, $326; home furnishings, $3,507; books, $230; Internet purchases, $656; entertainment appliances, $1,493; photographic equipment, $455; home improvement materials, $1,785; telephone/mail order purchases, $594; equipment/materials for home maintenance, $849; Internet access/online usage, $390; jewelry, $1,133; children's apparel, $440; household or kitchen appliances, $1,513; computer software, $190; computer hardware, $290; personal computers (desktop/laptop/handheld), $1,500; sports/athletic/home fitness equipment, $455; artwork and collectibles, $1,243.

Mendelsohn Media Research, 2006

According to a 2006 survey of affluent households (average income of $472,000) with children, the respondents reported spending a yearly average of $13,004 on travel and $5,786 on dining out.

American Express Platinum Luxury Survey, 2006

What They Buy Source

A 2007 survey of wealthy consumers (average household income of $319,000) showed that Hermes and Vera Wang tied for first place for the most prestigious women's luxury fashion brands. Bottega Veneta and St. John Collections shared second place, while Armani took third.

Luxury Institute, 2007

A 2007 survey of affluent consumers (average income of $313,000) showed that Porsche was rated as the most prestigious luxury automobile brand. Tying for second were Mercedes and Lexus, followed by BMW.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to a Fall 2007 survey of affluent households (average income of $302,500), major purchases they were planning in the next 12 months: Buy a new motor vehicle, 27%; undertake a major home remodeling project, 24%; take a cruise, 22%; build a new home, 4%; buy an existing vacation home, 4%; build a new vacation home, 2%; buy an existing home as primary residence, 2% none of the above, 43%.

American Affluence Research Center, 2007

Percentage of male luxury shoppers who purchased the following fashion brands in the past year: Polo Ralph Lauren, 26.6%; Calvin Klein, 20.1%; Armani, 13.2%; Coach, 11.9%; Burberry, 9.4%; Hugo Boss, 6.6%; Gucci, 5.8%; Louis Vuitton, 5.3%; Prada, 4.8%; Versace, 4.7%.

Luxury Institute, 2007

A 2007 survey of wealthy consumers (average income of $319,000) identified Bergdorf Goodman as the most prestigious traditional luxury retail brand, with Neiman Marcus rated second and Nordstrom third.

Luxury Institute, 2007

A study by Unity Marketing determined that affluent consumers spent an average of $21,700 on luxuries for their home in 2006, an 8.6% increase over the previous year. The report also found that approximately one-third of luxury consumers planned to redecorate their homes in the coming year, and about 15% indicated they would be doing a major remodeling project.

Unity Marketing, 2007

A 2007 study by the American Affluence Research Center showed that 5.9% of the wealthiest U.S. households (average income of $256,000) planned to acquire a vacation home in the next year, while 3.9% expected to purchase a primary residence.

American Affluence Research Center, 2007

According to a 2007 survey by the Luxury Institute of households with minimum annual incomes of $150,000, the respondents rated the top men's fashion brands as: 1) Brioni; 2) Armani; 3) Ermenegildo Zegna; 4) Ferragamo; 5) Canali; 6) Dolce & Gabbana; 7) Prada; 8) Tom Ford; 9) Versace; 10) Burberry.

Luxury Institute, 2007

Sales of fine watches rose 39% in 2006, while fine jewelry sales were up 10%. By contrast, the fashion or costume segment of the jewelry market declined 8%, and sales of costume watches were off 20%.

Unity Marketing, 2007

High net-worth consumers (average household income of $308,000) rated Chanel the leading women's luxury fragrance, followed by Estee Lauder and Ralph Lauren, as part of a 2007 survey conducted by the Luxury Institute.

Luxury Institute, 2007

A 2007 study by the American Affluence Research Center indicated that 15% of affluent travelers planned to take a cruise in the next year or two.

American Affluence Research Center, 2007

According to a study by DataQuick, sales of homes priced at $5 million and above jumped 18% in 2006.

Luxury Home Council, 2007

Based on a 2007 survey of affluent consumers by the Luxury Institute, the respondents named Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Sterling Vintner's Collection and Raymond as their three favorite brands of super-premium table wines. Among deluxe table wines, Ferrari-Carano, Sterling Vineyards and Sonoma-Cutrer were the top three choices.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to a survey of consumers with a minimum net worth of $5 million and an income of $200,000, the most prestigious credit card is the American Express Centurion, followed by the American Express platinum card and the MasterCard World Elite card.

Luxury Institute, 2007

Based on a survey of high-income households (average of $291,000) by the Luxury Institute, Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo were rated the most prestigious women's shoe brands, while Berluti, Ferragamo and Prado Sport were ranked as the top men's brands.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to a 2007 survey by the Luxury Home Council, the most popular amenities in luxury housing today are (multiple answers): Gourmet kitchens, 95%; master bedroom suites, 86%; specialty construction items, 66%; high-end appliances, 64%; home office suites, 58%; and home theater rooms, 55%. 

Luxury Home Council, 2007

High-net worth customers (average household income of $301,000) rated Wolf as the most prestigious home appliance brand, followed by Viking and La Cornue.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to a 2006 study by Mendelsohn Media Research, percentage of households earning $85,000+ annually that purchased the following items in the past year: Women's apparel, 90.3%; fragrance, cosmetics, lotions and creams, 89.0%; men's apparel, 88.7%; home furnishings, 83.2%; books, 82.9%; Internet purchases, 71.6%; entertainment appliances, 69.2%; photographic equipment, 68.4%; home improvement materials, 66.2%; telephone/mail order purchases, 64.5%; equipment/materials for home maintenance, 60.9%; Internet access/online usage, 59.8%; jewelry, 54.3%; children's apparel, 54.0%; household or kitchen appliances, 52.9%; computer software, 51.4%; fresh floral arrangements for out-of-town recipients, 47.1%; computer hardware, 42.3%; personal computers (desktop/laptop/handheld), 39.6%; sports/athletic/home fitness equipment, 37.6%; artwork and collectibles, 23.6%.   

Mendelsohn Media Research, 2006

Percentage of the following household income groups that own or lease four or more vehicles: $85,000-$99,999, 13%; $100,000-$199,999, 16%; $200,000+, 22%.

Mendelsohn Media Research, 2006

A 2006 American Express survey asked affluent consumers (average household income of $380,500) what categories of purchases they were planning to make over the next 12 months (multiple answers): Furniture, 61%; drapes & blinds, 37%; wall decor, 35%; original paintings/prints, etc., 28%; high-end major appliances, 26%; carpeting, 24%; ranges/cooktops/ovens, 21%; refrigerators, 18%; original sculpture/fine porcelain, 18%; collectibles, 18%; tabletop, 17%; range hoods, 13%; gas/electric grills, 12%; crystal, 12%; china, 11%; air purifiers, 8%; sterling flatware/holloware, 8%; water purifiers, 7%.  

Home Furnishings News, 2006

Of those U.S. households with incomes of $85,000+, the average value of securities owned is $257,200, 41% have three or more vehicles, 28% of the adults are golfers, 15% of the adults engage in photography, and the median value of life insurance held by the household is $210,900. 

Mendelsohn Media Research, 2006

Composition of securities investments for households earning $85,000+ a year: Mutual funds, 37%; corporate stock, 36%; money-market funds/CDs, 16%; bonds, 11%.

Mendelsohn Media Research, 2006

Where They Buy Source

With over 64,000 employees worldwide, LMVH is the world market leader in luxury products. Its portfolio includes over 60 successful brands such as Moet, Dom Perignon, TAG Heuer, Dior, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Ebel and Donna Karan. The second largest luxury group is Richemont, with such brands as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget and JeagerLeCoultre, while the third is PPR, with its 99% stake in the Gucci Group.

Hoover's, 2007

A 2007 Luxury Institute survey revealed that 96% of consumers with incomes of $100,000+ purchase products and services online. Travel and apparel are popular e-commerce categories, with 69% of wealthy shoppers making most of their hotel and resort reservations online, while 53% purchase women's clothing and 43% buy men's apparel. 

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to a 2007 survey of wealthy consumers, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) was rated the top overall luxury hotel brand, finishing ahead of traditional brands such as InterContinental and Ritz Carlton.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to a 2007 survey by the Luxury Institute, affluent consumers (average household income of $302,000) named Edward Jones as their favorite full-service broker, and Ameriprise Financial as the top premium broker.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to a study by JupiterResearch, when compared to individuals in households earning less than $100,000 annually, those in affluent households spend five hours more per week listening to music, and two hours more each week chatting on cellphones, reading newspapers and tuning in to the Radio.

Marketing Daily, 2007

According to JupiterResearch, Americans with household incomes of more than $100,000 spend a media of 17 hours a week online, compared to 14 hours for everyone else.

Marketing Daily, 2007

Based on a 2007 study by Restaurants & Institutions, how often households with incomes of $75,000+ visit fast food restaurants: More than once a week, 15.9%; once a week, 23.8%; every other week, 16.5%; once a month, 14.7%; less than once a month, 20.9%; never, 8.2%.

Restaurants & Institutions, 2007

Based on research by Coldwell Banker Real Estate, cities with the highest average home sale prices in 2007 (average totals in millions): Beverly Hills (CA), $2.2; Greenwich (CT), $2.0; La Jolla (CA), $1.8; Santa Monica (CA), $1.8; Newport Beach (CA), $1.6; Santa Barbara (CA), $1.6; Palo Alto (CA), $1.5; San Mateo (CA), $1.5; San Francisco (CA), $1.5; Boston (MA), $1.4.  

Coldwell Banker Real Estate, 2007

A 2007 survey by the Luxury Institute found that wealthy consumers (average household income of $302,000) consider the Venetian as the casino that offers the best customer experience in the country, followed by the Bellagio and Mandalay Bay.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to Unique Homes Magazine, of the 1,000 most expensive homes in the U.S., New York has the most with 240, followed by Florida, with 234, and California, with 205.

Luxury Home Council, 2007

According to a 2007 survey by the Luxury Institute, the duPont Registry of Fine Homes, Luxuryrealestate.com and Luxury Collections were rated as the three most prestigious residential real estate companies by wealthy consumers (average household income of $329,000).

Luxury Institute, 2007

Business Trends Source

A study done by the Spectrem Group determined that the number of millionaire households in the U.S. grew only 2% in 2007, after increases of 21% in 2004, 11% in 2005 and 8% in 2006.

Marketing Daily, 2008

A 2008 survey by American Express Publishing concluded that households with discretionary income of $100,000 or more represent 10% of the U.S. population, but they account for almost half of all retail sales.

Chicago Tribune, 2008

Research by the Luxury Institute revealed that the number of wealthy households ($150,000+) in the U.S. increased 51% between 2002 and 2006, reaching more than 8 million.

Luxury Institute, 2007

According to research by Unity Marketing, the typical luxury consumer (average household income of $149,800 and age of 43.1 years) spent $56,065 on luxury goods and services in 2006, up 6.6% from 2005.

Unity Marketing, 2007

According to a mid-2007 survey conducted by Elite Traveler/Prince & Associates, only 4.5% of consumers with a net worth of more than $25 million said they were "extremely concerned" over the impact of a volatile stock market on their finances. However, 90.8% of those consumers with a net worth of $500,000-$1 million indicated that they were "extremely concerned."

Jewelers' Circular Keystone, 2007

A 2006 report by Merrill Lynch found that business ownership or sale of a business is the primary source of wealth for most high-net-worth individuals (assets of $1 million or more, excluding their personal residence), accounting for 37% of their wealth. Income ranks second, at 24%, and inheritance ranks third, at 18%.

Luxury Home Council, 2007

Misc Source

The number of magazines targeting affluent consumers increased from 90 titles in 1997 to 456 by the beginning of 2007.

Media Daily News, 2007