Spending on high-end home products by affluent shoppers have made significant gains thus far in the third quarter, according to research by Unity Marketing, a firm that tracks affluent consumer behavior.
So far in the quarter, according to the company’s Luxury Tracking study, spending by affluent consumers on high-end linens—such as fabrics, curtains, sheets, towels, other bed linens and table linens—is up 51.1% from the first few weeks of the second quarter. Purchases of furniture, lamps and floor coverings by this class of consumers has risen 26.3%. Spending on all luxury goods and services has risen 15.9% thus far in the quarter.
Along with the increased spending, the research found an upturn in affluent consumer confidence. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed believe the country as a whole is better off financially now, compared to 27% at the start of the second quarter.
“We have seen plenty of minor spikes in affluent consumer confidence since 2010, but the latest one at the start of the third quarter 2013 feels different than the others,” said Pam Danziger, Unity Marketing’s president. “It has all the markings of a sustainable recovery that will give affluents the confidence to spend more freely through the end of the year.”
Unity Marketing describes five key types of luxury consumers:
- X‑Fluents (Extremely Affluent) who spend the most on luxury and are most highly invested in luxury living;
- Butterflies, the most highly evolved luxury consumers who have emerged from their luxury cocoons with a passion to reconnect with the outside world. Powered by a search for meaning and new experiences, the butterflies have the least materialistic orientation among the segments, yet they spend nearly as much as the X‑Fluents on luxury;
- Luxury Cocooners who are focused on hearth and home. They spend most of their luxury budgets on home-related purchases;
- Aspirers, those luxury consumers who have not yet achieved the level of luxury to which they aspire. They are highly attuned to brands and believe luxury is best expressed in what they buy and what they own.
- Temperate Pragmatist a newly emerged luxury consumer who is not all that involved in the luxury lifestyle. As their name implies, they are careful spenders and not given to luxury indulgence.
To learn more about affluent consumers, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad-ology.com.[Source: "Luxury Tracking Study." Unity Marketing. 15 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Aug. 2013.]