High-end cook's tools, particularly small kitchen appliances, are attracting higher levels of spending, according to Unity Marketing's Luxury Tracking Study, even as worried consumers slow their overall luxury spending.
It looked as though spending patterns on luxury items were returning to normal for a few post-recession quarters, but Unity Marketing's Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) stalled at 78.3 points in July 2010. Affluent consumers are reflecting uncertainty about prospects for the economy in the next three months. Because the LCI has proven a reliable predictor of consumer behavior, Unity Marketing said, the stall is reason for concern.
In one of the index's five key measures, 36% of luxury consumers say the U.S. as a whole is worse off now than it was three months ago – that is up from 31% who said the same in March 2010.
"Without a doubt the luxury consumer market is in a much better place today than it was a year or so ago, but the latest survey warns marketers not to ease up or be over-confident that the recession's effect on the luxury market are over," said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing. "Nearly three out of four luxury consumers surveyed believe that the recession continues, which in turn impacts spending on luxury goods and services. Marketers are advised to continue to position luxury as a value proposition, by keeping luxury connotations and image up front in advertising, packaging and service, but communicating in a very subtle, almost one-on-one way, affordable pricing."
Unity Marketing surveyed 1349 luxury consumers July 3-8, 2010. Those surveyed:
• had an average income of $306,700
• had a net worth $15.2 million
• were 44.8 years old
• 45% male, 55% female
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