Luxury Retailers Losing the Less Affluent

Retailers that cater to America’s richest consumers are losing their least affluent customers during the holiday season, Bloomberg News reports.

Neiman Marcus, whose customers have an average annual household income of $250,000, according to Citigroup, said it faced “somewhat challenging” client demand, Bloomberg reports.

Sales growth at the six top U.S. luxury-goods sellers may shrink further next year, with revenue rising 5 percent to 8 percent, down from “high single-digit” percentage gains this year, the Luxury Institute, a research firm in New York, said last week.

Tiffany, Coach, Nordstrom, and Polo Ralph Lauren are predicting slower sales growth for this quarter or for the year ending in February or March, Bloomberg reports. Coach expects the smallest holiday quarter sales gain in six years.

In the past month, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Polo reduced their profit expectations by as much as 3.8 percent. Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are offering discounts and free shipping this season.

The slowdown is occurring among low-tier affluent shoppers, while the richest Americans continue spending on designer merchandise, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom and Polo said.