Tiffany & Co. is the jewelry brand most frequently purchased by wealthy women over the past five years, followed by David Yurman and Cartier, according to a new survey released by The Luxury Institute.
This story first appeared in the July 3, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Rounding out the top 10 are, in order, Judith Ripka, Mikimoto, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Asprey, Harry Winston and Piaget.
The Luxury Institute polled 504 women with a minimum gross annual income of $200,000 and a minimum net worth of $5 million. Overall, 63 percent of the women surveyed reported having purchased luxury jewelry in the past five years.
The survey also showed that in the women’s fashion and accessories category, Michael Kors holds a 35.9 percent market share, followed by Prada (21.1 percent), Burberry (18.3 percent), Louis Vuitton (17.4 percent), Chanel (16.8 percent), Gucci (16.6 percent) and Marc Jacobs (16.6 percent). Customers were asked which of these luxury brands, if any, they had purchased over the last 12 months. The report revealed that these brands vary widely in their ability to build relationships with wealthy women.
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Customers were then asked if they had a specific sales professional they preferred to shop with or communicate with at the top 12 luxury brands purchased by men and women. Cartier had the largest share of customer-salesperson relationships (40 percent), followed by Prada women’s fashion (28 percent), Tiffany jewelry (25 percent), Louis Vuitton women’s fashion (24 percent), David Yurman jewelry (16 percent), Chanel women’s fashion (15 percent), Michael Kors women’s fashion (11 percent), Gucci women’s fashion (9 percent), Brooks Brothers men’s fashion (9 percent), Burberry women’s fashion (7 percent), Ralph Lauren men’s fashion (7 percent) and Marc Jacobs women’s fashion (6 percent).
Among the men, Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers held the largest market share in the men’s fashion and accessories category. Overall, wealthy men are less likely than women to build relationships with salespeople, the study found.
The study concluded that 17 percent of women surveyed have a preferred sales professional at one or more luxury jewelry brands, and 16 percent have a preferred sales professional at one or more fashion and accessories brands. Only 12 percent of men reported having a preferred sales professional at the men’s fashion and accessories brands.
“Relationship selling is not something exclusive to markets like high-end automobiles, real estate and wealth management services,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive officer of The Luxury Institute “Even in luxury jewelry and fashion, relationships cultivated by trust and an understanding of customer preferences can help boost both frequency and size of sales.”
The study concluded that given the recent growth of men’s fashion and accessories, luxury brands could better engage wealthy men by improving one-on-one interaction beyond the purchase, by handwritten thank-you notes, free alterations and personalized product suggestions. More than half of the women who purchased from both jewelry and fashion brands said they appreciate handwritten thank-you notes.