Survey: Super Rich Consumers Will Splurge on Jewelry, Watches

Ultra affluent consumers (with a net worth of at least $10 million) will have their eye on watches and jewelry this summer, according to a recent survey.

A total of 73 percent of respondents to the 2007 Elite Traveler/Prince & Associates Summer Spending Survey say they will spend an average of $94,000 on luxury watches or fine jewelry, an increase of nearly 50 percent over summer 2005.

These consumers are not stopping at jewelry either as they are expected to increase their overall summer spending by 55 percent this year over summer 2005 on all types of items, including entertainment, apparel, and electronics,.

According to the survey of 198 high net worth families conducted at the beginning of May, spending across 17 luxury categories will increase to $622,202 per household, from $399,187 during the summer period.

“This survey underscores the spending power of the super rich and also reflects that this segment is not impacted by the ups and downs of the overall economy. In fact they are enjoying a very robust period,” said Douglas Gollan, president and editor-in-chief of Elite Traveler. “Unlike Mass Affluent consumers who may splurge and charge up credit cards to buy jewelry or watches for the holidays, it is interesting to see that the super rich spend money on virtually every type of luxury good and service on an continuous basis.”

The three largest growth areas for increased spending are audio-visual products, up more than 121 percent; designer apparel and accessories, up more than 112 percent; and luxury resort stays, up more than 78 percent. In these categories, the “average” Elite Affluent customer will spend $31,000 on electronics: $34,000 on apparel and accessories, and $41,000 on luxury resort stays.

More than 93 percent of survey respondents say they will spend an average of $56,000 on entertaining. Sales of wines and spirits will also increase, reaching $17,000 for personal consumption and $24,000 for social entertaining.

Nearly everyone surveyed said they will be increasing their charitable giving in the coming months, averaging $82,000 in contributions to their favorite charities this summer, a $30,000 increase over summer 2005.

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