High-income consumers not letting inflation, recession worries change shopping habits

High-income consumers aren’t letting inflation and recession worries change their buying habits

Luxury buyers are spending more on indulgence and paying more attention to wellness products.

| by Judy Mottl — editor-in-chief, RetailCustomerExperience.com & FoodTruckOperator.com

Inflation, the threat of a recession, and general anxiety about rising costs don’t bother luxury-loving consumers.

In fact, high-end consumers have been steadily spending on luxury lifestyles, and interest in luxury health and wellness is growing.

That’s the main finding of the most recent Saks Luxury Pulse, a periodic online survey of luxury consumer attitudes towards shopping, spending and fashion trends conducted in May. The survey program began in March 2021 to gauge customer sentiment in light of the pandemic.

“When asked to describe their current mood as the pandemic continues, the most common emotion in each survey was ‘hope’,” said Gaby Aiguesvives, SVP, Marketing Strategy, Analytics and Loyalty. , Saks, to Retail Customer Experience in an email interview.

The survey found that high-income consumers continue to spend on luxury, including indulging in fashion and vacations, and more are prioritizing health and wellness – 76% of respondents with an income of $200,000 or more plan to buy the same or even more luxury items. over the next few months than over the past three months.

When asked where they would spend an extra $500, those with an income of $200,000 or more plan to spend on vacations, leisure trips, shoes, accessories and handbags.

“Major luxury customers have already decided they are interested in buying luxury, and we believe they will continue to turn to Saks for luxury despite periods of inflation, although we know that the environment can change quickly,” said Aiguesvives. “At Saks, we always pay close attention to the changing macro environment and insights from the Saks Luxury Pulse reinforce our view of the luxury consumer.”

The survey also found that 85% plan to buy the same amount or more online over the next three months, and when it comes to splurging, 80% said they’re likely to. will be for themselves. Forty-eight percent plan to buy the same amount online and the same amount in-store as in the past three months.

Customers have purchased primarily online in the past three months for clothing (54%), beauty, skincare or grooming products (46%) and footwear (49%),” said Aiguesvives. .

When it comes to wellness and home products, around two in five, 41%, place wellness at the top of the list, especially rest, nutrition and personal care, more now than before the pandemic. According to the survey, bed and bath products, home decor and candles were the top items.

“Since the pandemic, consumers have developed an increased interest in wellness. A 2021 McKinsey survey of approximately 7,500 consumers in six countries found that consumers care deeply about wellness – and their interest is growing With consumers stuck at home with nowhere to go, many turned to home workouts and found ways to heal themselves by taking care of themselves,” Aiguesvives said.

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