SOURCE: Luxury Institute

May 13, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: Wealthy U.S. Consumers Rate Most Prestigious Luxury Retailers: Bergdorf Goodman, Barney's and Neiman Marcus

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 13, 2008) - High net-worth consumers rated Bergdorf Goodman the most prestigious luxury retailer in the 2008 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey from the independent New York City-based Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com).

Respondents who would recommend Bergdorf Goodman comment on the "level of personalization in service and the quality of merchandise." Barney's and Neiman Marcus ranked second and third, respectively. Barney's has been climbing the chart since last year.

"Perhaps it is no accident that all the large luxury retailers that top the list are now owned by private equity groups," said Milton Pedraza, CEO, the Luxury Institute. "Analysts are always asking whether private equity is good for luxury. The answer in terms of luxury retailing is a resounding 'yes.' We find that private equity investors think like owners and care deeply about customer experience metrics, often more than their public company counterparts. The exception is Nordstrom, a public firm driven by a family that lives and breathes integrity, and hires people to match its values. Nothing focuses the mind like clear and constructive customer feedback. Our impartial surveys bring together the quantitative and qualitative voice of high net-worth consumers to 21st century luxury executives who believe in delivering extraordinary customer experiences."

Following are the seven luxury retailers that were rated (alphabetical order):

1. Barney's
2. Bergdorf Goodman
3. Bloomingdale's
4. Lord and Taylor
5. Neiman Marcus
6. Nordstrom
7. Saks Fifth Avenue

The proprietary Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey is the only measure of the prestige of leading brands among wealthy Americans. A national sample of 1,642 wealthy American consumers, with an average income of $349K and average net-worth of $3.7 million, was surveyed online. Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net worth profiles 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 impartial ratings, reviews 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. The Luxury Institute operates the Luxury Board (www.LuxuryBoard.com), the world's first global, membership-based, online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To reach the Luxury Institute, please call 646-792-2669 or go to www.LuxuryInstitute.com.

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