SOURCE: Luxury Insitute

October 26, 2006 13:15 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: Wealthy Consumers Rate Armani Casa, Maitland-Smith and Stickley Top Home Furnishings Brands of 2006

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 26, 2006 -- Luxury home furnishings brands are becoming more important to wealthy consumers. According to the Luxury Institute's 2006 annual Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey of Home Furnishings Brands, Armani Casa is the top-ranked home furnishings brand among 29 brands, placing first in three of four key measures. Others rated among the top 20% of home furnishings brands are Maitland-Smith, Stickley, Fendi Casa, Pierre Deux and Roche Bobois

Maitland-Smith is the top-rated brand for consistently superior quality, followed by Stickley and Fendi Casa. Armani Casa is perceived as being the most unique and exclusive brand, followed by Fendi Casa and Maitland-Smith. Stickley ranks second to Armani Casa in terms of social status, followed by Maitland-Smith. Robert Allen enters the top three when it comes to making customers feel special, behind Armani Casa and Maitland-Smith.

Twenty-nine leading home furnishings brands were rated including: ABC Carpet and Home, Armani Casa, Baker, Bassett, Beacon Hill, Bernhardt, Brown Jordan, Broyhill, Century, Crate & Barrel, Domain, Drexel Heritage, Ethan Allen, Fendi Casa, Flexsteel, Henredon, Lane Home Furnishings, La-Z-Boy, Maitland-Smith, Maurice Villency, Oscar De La Renta Home Collection, Pierre Deux, Pottery Barn, Ralph Lauren Home furnishings, Restoration Hardware, Robert Allen, Roche Bobois, Stickley, and Thomasville.

"Home furnishings is a category with a multitude of high-end brands," said Milton F. Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute. "This independent rating demonstrates that the top fashion designers such as Armani and Fendi are making major inroads with their highly prestigious brands. Although there has been some skepticism about fashion brands becoming luxury 'lifestyle' brands, it appears that the only 'experts' who matter, wealthy consumers, approve of top fashion designers expanding into the home furnishings category."

A nationally representative sample of 1,000 wealthy consumers was surveyed online. Respondents had an average household income of $355k and average net worth of $4.2m. Survey results are weighted to match the demographic and net worth profile of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from the Federal Reserve.

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and objective ratings and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. Publications include the monthly Wealth Report, the Luxury Brand Status Index surveys, the Luxury Best Practices surveys and the Luxury Consumer Experience Index surveys. To reach the Luxury institute, please call 646-792-2669, or go to www.luxuryinstitute.com.

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