More Affluent Consumers Shopping at Discounters

A survey released by Unity Marketing June 20 showed
wealthy consumers were more likely to shop at discounters like Target than at
high-end department stores.

According to the survey, more ultra-affluent shoppers,
defined as those with incomes of $250,000 and above, said they shopped at Target
(39.5 percent), Macy’s (34 percent), and J.C. Penney (22.4 percent), than said
they shopped at Neiman Marcus (20.1 percent) or Bloomingdales (19.4
percent). 

Affluent shoppers “are just as eager as shoppers with less
disposable income to find good quality at reasonable prices,” said a Unity
Marketing statement. “That’s why they shop at discounters like Target, Kohl’s,
Costco and Wal-Mart, just like everybody else.”

Unity Marketing president Pam Danziger said luxury shoppers
have embraced a new “value orientation.”

Luxury products today must “deliver a meaningful return as
measured in greater pleasure, comfort, superior performance, and longevity of
wear and use,” Danziger said. “If the product doesn’t measure up, [affluent
consumers] won’t spend the money; rather they will trade down to a cheaper, yet
acceptable alternative.”

Danziger said high-end stores like Neiman Marcus have to
understand that discounters are increasingly becoming their competitors.

“With Apple’s
retail innovator Ron Johnson joining J.C. Penney as CEO
later this year, I
expect to see exciting changes emerging from Penney’s, particularly in the area
of the customer’s shopping experience,” she added.