Luxury consumers spent $2,000 per capita on jewelry in 2003

Unity Marketing has just completed its 2003 year-end luxury consumer survey. This survey provides a snapshot of changes in the mindset of the luxury market going into 2004 and to update 2002 findings.

“The major finding this year is that luxury has gone experiential,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing. “As in last year’s survey, the luxury consumers’ focus in buying and pursuing luxury is how they experience it, the feelings and emotions luxury evokes, and the way luxury purchases express one’s values and attitudes. Luxury is no longer about rampant materialism or having and getting, but the enjoyment and reveling in the luxury experience.”

Among other key findings:

* The number one must widely purchased luxury item in the past year was luxury electronics, mirroring a finding from the 2002 survey. And among those who bought jewelry, they spent nearly $2,000—that is 46% more than they spent on jewels in the previous year. Spa spending also got a 36% boost this year over average spending last year.

* The luxury consumer feels considerably more positive about their financial status this year, as compared with last.

* Luxury consumers continue to be bargain shoppers, enjoying the experience of saving money while buying luxuries. Because of this, discounters and other off-price stores are the favorite shopping source for home luxuries, but department stores and specialty retail still lead in the personal luxury realm of fashion, beauty and jewels.

* The luxury products brand is very important for the majority of consumers in only two key categories: Luxury automobile and luxury beauty and fragrances. For every other category fewer than half of the consumers rated luxury brand as very important in their last purchase decision.

Unity’s survey includes consumers with incomes of $100k and above, along with a comparative sample of upper middle-income consumers between $50,000 and $100,000.