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Luxury shoppers hunt out bargains

News, 12 February 2015

LONDON/MILAN: Luxury shoppers have a keen eye for a bargain according to new research which shows that over half of luxury goods (52%) are purchased at discounted prices.

Havas Media Group's LuxHub consulting arm polled 928 respondents in nine countries – the USA, UK, China, Russia, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Saudi Arabia/UAE – all within the top 10% of the household income bracket in each market.

The discounting trend observed was strongest in the US, where luxury shoppers purchased an average of 67% of their luxury goods at less than full price.

At the other end of the spectrum, the highest percentages of full-price purchases (55%) came in the UK and Spain.

Despite the prevalence of discounting, LuxHub expected that luxury spending would rise 7% in the year ahead.

And among the third of respondents who said they would be spending more, almost one half (44%) said this was simply because they saw more items they wanted.

This demonstrated, said LuxHub, that "the supply side of luxury is a key driver for the sector's share of wallet".

Tammy Smulders, LuxHub global executive director, suggested that "this discounting culture, coupled with more sophisticated targeting, data management through CRM and storytelling is actually stimulating shopping".

"There are a wealth of opportunities out there for agile, smart luxury brand marketers," she stated.

The research threw up some interesting differences on how the various markets regard luxury products. Thus, for example, global luxury "super brands" were preferred to niche brands by 64% of respondents.

This was especially so in China (83%) and the US (73%) but not in Spain (43%), where luxury consumers liked to search out niche luxury items.

Spanish shoppers were also one of the few nationalities – along with Germans and Italians – to define luxury in terms of exclusivity over quality.

UK shoppers on the other hand looked to quality and had relatively little interest in any social status that such products might confer.

Data sourced from Havas Media Group; additional content by Warc staff