In the era of Groupon Reserve, how can luxury brands hope to hold their customers? If everyone is looking for a bargain, can stores like Barneys and Neiman Marcus even stay in business, much less maintain the loyalty of their pre-recession customers?
Defining Affluents as the 59 million U.S. adults living in households with $100,000 or more in annual household income (HHI), we find they average $192K in HHI, and their average of $500K in liquid assets is spread across a variety of accounts. Essentially, all have a banking (checking/savings) account, and nearly as many (87%) have a retirement account, including 63% with a 401K. They have a variety of insurance accounts as well, with personal insurance being the second-largest category of Affluent expenditures (behind automotive).
Much has been written about today's affluent consumers being device-crazy. For example, according to a recent "Engage:Affluent" column by Stephen Krauss of Ipsos MediaCT, half of affluents now own smartphones and a quarter own tablets, and these numbers have been increasingly rapidly.
Despite the weakened Chinese economy, the appetite for luxury goods remains strong. What is interesting is that the Chinese look to the U.S. as a credible and desirable source of luxury goods. No longer does the U.S. sit a rung below France and Italy; it now sits side by side on the dais of luxury brands.