In the last 12 months, Nordstrom captured the largest percentage of luxury shoppers — those with a net worth of more than $5 million — according to a recent Luxury Institute survey.
About 60 percent of these wealthy consumers bought something last year at Nordstrom, followed by Bloomingdale’s with 35 percent and Neiman Marcus with 34 percent.
The survey found that sales associates at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s are less likely to cultivate exclusive relationships. Women are more likely to form bonds with retail sales staff than men, as are those under age 65.
High-end specialty retailers made up for a lack of widespread appeal by forging deeper relationships with consumers and selling higher-ticket items.
Barneys New York was cited by 32 percent of respondents for its sales associates’ ability to build bonds with customers. Barneys was followed by Neiman’s with 27 percent and Bergdorf Goodman with 26 percent.
Bergdorf’s market share among pentamillionaires was one-quarter the size of Nordstrom’s, but the prevalence of customer-salesperson interaction at Bergdorf’s was triple the rate of Nordstrom.
“Technology may make it easier for sales professionals to maintain relationships,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive officer of the Luxury Institute, based in New York. “But simple and personalized approaches like follow-up phone calls or handwritten thank you notes still prove tremendously effective.”
The 504-person survey found that wealthy consumers seek sales professionals at luxury retailers who recognize them when they visit the store, follow up with phone calls and e-mails with product offers and make them feel comfortable.