SOURCE: Luxury Institute, LLC

Luxury Institute, LLC

November 14, 2011 14:00 ET

Wealthy U.S. Shoppers Weigh In on Personalized Service, Rank Luxury Brands in 16 Categories for Ability to Deliver 'Over the Top' Customer Experiences

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 14, 2011) - U.S. shoppers earning at least $150,000 want to interact more closely with luxury firms, but not all brands are meeting the demand. This is among the findings of "Luxury Clienteling 2010-2011," a new WealthSurvey from the independent and objective New York City-based Luxury Institute.

Most wealthy consumers (86%) are willing to provide personal information to luxury firms if it results in a superior experience. More than three-fourths (77%) are happy to supply their email address.

One type of personalized service found to be valued is the availability of free shipping on purchases and returns, a seemingly small but monumentally important feature.

"Consumers view free shipping as the most important 'special touch' that luxury firms must provide," says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "Nordstrom began offering free shipping and returns in August, and it's surprising that more firms don't do the same."

Below are the top-ranked brands for delivering "over the top" experiences in each of the 16 luxury categories:

Leisure Travel: Hilton, Marriott, Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton
Private Transportation: NetJets
Wine/Spirits: Grey Goose, Dom Perignon and Mondavi
Jewelry/Watches: Rolex
Home Appliances: Viking, LG, GE, Bosch and Subzero
Home Furnishings: Ethan Allen
Health & Fitness: Bally's
Beauty/Skincare/Grooming: Clinique and Sephora
Designer Shoes: Gucci and Jimmy Choo
Designer Handbags: Coach
Fashion Apparel: Nordstrom, Gucci and Ralph Lauren
Fashion Accessories: Gucci, Coach and Oakley
Autos: Mercedes, Lexus and BMW
Technology: Apple
Personal Finance: Fidelity
Real Estate: Century 21

For greater details on clienteling best practices, visit

About Luxury Institute (
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, 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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