In a sign that high-income consumers are looking past traditional luxury brands, a new survey found that ultra-affluent consumers now prefer Zales to Tiffany.
The survey, by Stevens, Pa.-based Unity Marketing, queried consumers with incomes of $250,000 or more.
“It’s something I find very interesting,” says Unity Marketing president Pam Danziger. “It’s a small percentage, and they are real close, but Zales is higher, and that’s never happened before. Tiffany has been the leading retailer as long as we have been doing jewelry brands.”
Zale’s high-volume rivals, Kay and Jared, weren’t included in the survey, Danziger says.
She sees this as a sign that affluent consumers are now trading down to less premium brands.
“People with incomes of $250,000 and up are in the top 2 percent of income earners, yet they don’t see themselves as affluent,” she says. “They see themselves as very middle class.”
“Affluence is in the mind of the consumer,” she says. “Income isn’t really key anymore. It’s how much they are willing to spend.”