Launched in January 2004, and every three months thereafter, Unity Marketing has measured the pulse of the affluent consumers in a longitudinal survey of 1,200+ affluent consumer households. One-third of each survey is comprised of ultra-affluent (HHI $250,000 and above). Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the upcoming book, Putting the Luxe back in Luxury, says that luxury consumers had started the year 2010 with a feeling of optimism but the reality, through the course of the year, hasn’t lived up to it.
Danziger takes issue with the robust luxury forecast by Bain and Company reported in the October 18 Wall Street Journal. According to their survey the total spending by the affluent class on the luxury goods and services, in the third quarter, dropped by 1.4% compared to the second quarter. Though the spending figures are higher than the 2008 figures, the rebound seems to have reached a plateau and is declining again.
Luxury personal electronics seems to be the only luxury goods category that is recording quarter-on quarter growth this quarter. More affluent consumers will turn to laptop computers, GPS, cell phones, MP3 players and eBook readers. This is bound to be good news for marketers like Apple, Amazon, Best Buy and Radio Shack.