Nordstrom Tops Survey of Luxury Shoppers

Wealthy shoppers have put Nordstrom on top, according to a new survey from the New York-based research firm Luxury Institute.

According to the survey, shoppers earning at least $150,000 a year ranked the Seattle-based department store highest among luxury retailers, with a score of 8.41 out of 10, according to the 2012 Luxury Consumer Experience Index, which polls shoppers about store personnel, environment and satisfaction with the overall experience.

Nordstrom was also the most visited retailer, with 36 percent of respondents saying they had shopped at a location in the past 12 months. It also had the highest percentage of shoppers who would shop there again (96 percent) and who would recommend them to family and friends (94 percent).

According to the Luxury Institute release, the 1,200 survey participants reported an average income of $292,000 and an average net worth of $3 million.

Other retailers ranked highly include Bergdorf Goodman (a division of Neiman Marcus), which scored an 8.23, while Barneys New York (which as of Monday is now under the majority ownership of Perry Capital) received an 8.23.

“Retailers, especially in luxury, are selling experiences to customers more than they are selling any particular good,” Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza said in the release. “In the case of a retailer like Nordstrom, we see that a program of continuous improvement in the customer experience can lead to higher degrees of loyalty and improved financial performance.”

The perceived exclusivity of the top performers is a boon for pricing, the study suggests. Only 6 percent of shoppers having visited Bergdorf Goodman and 7 percent Barneys, but 76 percent and 74 percent of those who had, respectively, said the in-store goods are worth a “significant” price premium. Of Nordstrom shoppers, 65 percent felt the offerings were worth a significant premium.

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