SOURCE: Luxury Institute, LLC

Luxury Institute, LLC

September 21, 2011 14:00 ET

Most Wealthy U.S. Shoppers Plan to Keep on Spending on Luxury

Travel and Technology Are the Biggest Beneficiaries, but Jewelry and Antiques Look Vulnerable to Cutbacks

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 21, 2011) - The new "State of the Luxury Industry According to U.S. Consumers 2009-2011" survey from the independent and objective New York City-based Luxury Institute reveals that two-thirds of U.S. households earning at least $150,000 per year do not plan to trim spending on luxury purchases in coming months, a three year-high for optimism.

Although 32% of wealthy consumers report spending less on luxury recently due to the economy, that's down from 37% in August 2010 and 42% in August 2009 who reported cutting back. Furthermore, 10% report boosting luxury spending in recent months, up from 7% who said the same last year. Many (39%) still report buying what they need instead of what they want, down from 55% who were similarly cautious two years ago.

Good news for hotels and Apple: the top two luxury categories on which the wealthy indicate plans to spend more are travel (18%) and technology (16%). Other notable turnarounds include automobiles, where 11% of the wealthy plan to spend more, up from 8% in 2010.

Jewelry (39%), antiques (37%), custom apparel (34%), art (34%), handbags (33%) and watches (33%) top the list of likely areas for the wealthy to cut.

"Despite all of the turmoil in the economy and markets, wealthy shoppers show remarkable resilience," says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. "Rewards accrue to retailers who focus on providing exclusive objects and experiences with impeccable service."

For more details and full survey results, visit LuxuryInstitute.com.

About Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

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