Affluent households are watching their pennies too, shifting their priorities from wants to needs due to the changing economic backdrop.
The second annual Survey of Affluence & Wealth in America by American Express Publishing Corp. and Harrison Group found that affluent consumers, or 70 percent of the top 10th of American consumers with the highest household income, are turning to the Internet to compare price and value. The shopping habits of these consumers are also shifting from an "iWant" to an "iNeed" economy. The survey was released earlier this month.
The respondents represented 10 percent of the U.S. population, or 12 million households averaging $352,000 in discretionary annual income. It is a group of individuals that overall represent 50 percent of U.S. consumption. Three segments were polled in the 2007 survey: affluent, superaffluent and wealthy. In the 2008 survey, an additional seven million upper-middle-class households that represent about 6 percent of all U.S. households were polled. American Express said that "nearly 80 percent of this entire group [surveyed] grew up in a middle-class or lesser environment."
"Our research illustrates how today's affluent and wealthy consumers consider a variety of marketplace and lifestyle factors when making purchasing decisions, be it online or in-store," said Ed Kelley, president and chief executive officer of American Express Publishing Corp. "Clearly, it's a new game for luxury marketers and a considerable opportunity to understand and anticipate these changing behaviors and purchasing patterns."
Jim Taylor, vice chairman of the Harrison Group, observed that the availability of the Internet gives consumers economic power and choice. "Shoppers can readily compare price, quantity, features, warranty, delivery and amenities online [and they've] learned to apply intelligent logic to their purchasing power," he said.
According to the survey, respondents consider spending money "serious business," with three-fourths stating that "managing my family's finances requires strong business management skills."
The majority of consumers surveyed, or 70 percent, said they use Internet strategies to identify, price and compare and sometimes buy fashion and home purchases online. The remaining 30 percent prefer to shop alone or in-store with a knowledgeable salesperson.
However, savvy purchasing can increase the value of household income by more than 35 percent, freeing up in excess of $100,000 annually in additional aftertax cash flow, the study said.The survey also found that decisions on what to buy are driven by specific needs, either as replacements or upgrades for an existing item or something new for a special occasion. Only one-third of the purchases are due to browsing, the survey found.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)