Wealthy Consumers: Luxe Segment Crowded

The luxury category may be tapped out, according to a new study conducted by The Luxury Institute.

In the New York-based firm’s latest WealthSurvey, conducted in cooperation with Evins Communications, more than half of all wealthy consumers and millionaires said there are too many brands in most high-end categories, while 77 percent believe luxury is less important in today’s economy.

“As the global fashion weeks approach, brands must realize that wealthy consumers will be the true judges as to which brands are relevant and differentiated by the benefits that consumers think are important, and which brands are ‘me-too’ players that cannot be differentiated from competitors when the labels are removed,” Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, said in a statement.

Of those surveyed, 29 percent said that recent discounting of upscale goods has lowered the perception of luxury. The amount of consumers spending on essentials rose to 58 percent of those polled, versus 55 percent when the survey was last conducted in January 2009.

Travel, dining and health and fitness ranked as the top categories for luxury spending, while jewelry, home furnishings and watches and gifts are areas where wealthy consumers plan to spend less, according to the survey.

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