Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

US The Affluent and High Net Worth Premium Brand and Luxury Consumer market report

"Affluent and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) are key consumers of luxury brands. However, these wealthy individuals are less likely to be swayed by luxury brands’ marketing strategies, as they skew older, male, and retired – demographics that tend to be less engaged with consumption and fashion trends. Younger Affluent and HNWIs – and younger consumers in general – are critical of growth, as they are in prime wealth-building years, are establishing brand loyalties, and are open to media influences of “what’s in” since they are concerned with their appearances and want to portray an image of status and success."

Fiona O’Donnell, Director – Multicultural, Lifestyles, Travel & Leisure

This report looks at the following areas:

  • American HNWIs are relatively low spenders when compared to other regions
  • A strong US dollar may be prompting Affluent/HNWIs to purchase overseas
  • How to strike a balance between accessibility, affordability vs scarcity, exclusivity
  • Department stores are struggling to attract shoppers
  • Can buying online truly be equitable to the in-store luxury buying "experience"?

The concept of luxury goods is inevitably highly subjective. It is usually obvious where a product is luxury and equally obvious where it isn’t, but there is a gray area in between that is more subjective.

The term luxury usually carries with it the idea that a very high level of craftsmanship is involved and that the products carry a high price so that they are out of the reach of most mass-market buyers. Unfortunately, they can also carry connotations of ostentation and conspicuous consumption as a negative personal trait.

In Mintel’s analysis, there are three main categories of luxury goods, to which a miscellaneous group of smaller products is added:

  • Fashion and leather goods;
  • Fragrances and cosmetics;
  • Jewelry and watches; and
  • Other (ie writing instruments, eyewear, furniture, home goods, and other miscellaneous items).

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definitions
        • Affluent and High Net Worth Individuals
          • Premium brand and luxury
          • Executive Summary

              • Figure 1: US sales of luxury goods (% share, $bn), 2015/luxury purchases in the last 18 months, August 2016/June 2016
            • The issues
              • American HNWIs are relatively low spenders when compared to other regions
                • Figure 2: Affluent/HNWIs spending priorities, by age, August 2016
              • A strong US dollar may be prompting Affluent/HNWIs to purchase overseas
                • How to strike a balance between accessibility, affordability vs scarcity, exclusivity
                  • Figure 3: Perceptions of luxury brands – Value, by all Affluent/HNWIs and luxury buyers, August 2016
                • Department stores are struggling to attract shoppers
                  • Figure 4: Retail channels for luxury products, by Affluent/HNWIs vs all, August 2016/June 2016
                • Can buying online truly be equitable to the in-store luxury buying “experience”?
                  • Figure 5: Perceptions of luxury brands – Buying online, by age, August 2016
                • The opportunities
                  • Affluent/HNWIs have the means ... so do HENRYs, but they could use some motivation
                    • Figure 6: Definition of “luxury” – Success and perceptions of luxury brands – Image, by age, August 2016
                  • Use the digital channel to create and deepen the connection
                    • Invite-only events can strengthen loyalty, bring new devotees into the fold
                      • Figure 7: Attended theater, performing arts, cultural event, by all vs Affluent/HNWI, September 2014/August 2016
                    • What it means
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • The US accounts for about one fifth of global luxury goods sales
                        • Fashion/leather accounts for about half of global sales, small handful of key players
                          • $500K+ income-producing asset households on the rise
                            • Affluent and HNWI demographics differ from the national average
                            • The Luxury Goods Retail Market

                              • Luxury sales in the US estimated to be worth $35.3 billion
                                • Figure 8: US sales of luxury goods, $bn and €bn, 2011-15
                                • Figure 9: US share of global sales of luxury goods, 2011-15
                            • Luxury Goods Retail Market Breakdown

                              • Fashion/leather is the dominant segment
                                • Figure 10: Global luxury goods market, by segment, 2015
                              • Few luxury “giants” leads to fragmented market
                                  • Figure 11: Leading luxury companies: % share of all global luxury sales, 2015
                              • The Affluent and HNWI Market

                                • Households with $500K+ in income-producing assets up 33% from 2011
                                  • Figure 12: Number of households with $500K+ in income-producing assets, 2011-16 (forecast)
                                  • Figure 13: Disposable personal income change from previous period, January 2010-August 2016
                              • Affluent and HNWI Demographics

                                  • Affluent and HNWIs – Not just like you and me
                                    • What defines them
                                      • Who they are
                                        • Figure 14: Affluent and HNWIs – Finances, demographics, employment/location, August 2016
                                        • Figure 15: Affluent and HNWIs – Key characteristics, index to all, August 2016
                                    • Affluent and HNWI Market Factors

                                      • $500K+ income-producing asset households increasing as share of total
                                        • Figure 16: Share of households with $500K+ in income-producing assets, 2011-15
                                      • Breaking pattern of stagnation, median household income is up in 2015
                                        • Figure 17: Median US household income, 2004-15
                                    • Affluent and HNWI Market Perspective

                                      • Oh HENRYs!
                                        • Figure 18: Groupon | Haves vs. Have-dones TV ad, May 2016
                                      • Affluence and high net worth ain’t what it used to be
                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                        • Five companies account for four-in-10 global luxury dollars
                                          • Luxury brands harness the power of digital to reach new audiences
                                            • Consumers demand personalization, luxury brands answer the call
                                              • Affordable luxury brands and department stores struggle
                                                • Luxury brands exploring new routes to enhance image, let consumers get to know them
                                                • Key Players Overview

                                                      • Figure 19: Leading luxury companies, by net revenues (€bn and $bn*), 2013-15
                                                    • European luxury houses content with strong US dollar
                                                      • Figure 20: US dollar to euro exchange rate, January 2010-October 2016
                                                  • What’s Working?

                                                    • Integrating digital marketing to increase brand relevancy
                                                      • Figure 21: Burberry Acoustic presents Will Joseph Cook performing ‘Sweet Dreamer,’ October 2016
                                                      • Figure 22: CHANEL No5: “The One That I Want – The Film,” October 2014
                                                    • Personalizing the product – And the experience
                                                      • Showing off what goes in – Offering a behind-the-scenes look
                                                      • What’s Struggling?

                                                        • Department stores in decline, “affordable luxury” to reduce presence
                                                          • Affordable luxury struggles to boost brand image, sales
                                                            • Quality perceptions and combating counterfeits
                                                            • What’s Next?

                                                              • Expanding the brand
                                                                • Making it an event
                                                                  • Merging online and offline
                                                                    • Providing a temporary fix
                                                                      • Showing who you are – And that you care
                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                        • Quality defines “luxury” – But not all “luxury brands” meet expectations
                                                                          • Image is important, too
                                                                            • Affluent/HNWIs more likely to purchase luxury and like to get good deals
                                                                              • Jewelry, apparel, handbags, fragrances, watches are top purchases
                                                                                • Department stores dominant, online purchasing becoming more common
                                                                                  • Rolex, Gucci, Chanel are most desired brands
                                                                                  • How Affluent and HNWI Define “Luxury”

                                                                                      • Quality is the hallmark of luxury; Affluents seem interested in image
                                                                                          • Figure 23: Definitions of “luxury,” by Affluent and HNWIs, August 2016
                                                                                        • Gender has little impact on perceptions of luxury
                                                                                          • Frame of reference (age) impacts how “luxury” is defined
                                                                                            • Figure 24: Correspondence map – Definitions of “luxury,” by age, August 2016
                                                                                          • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                                            • Figure 25: Frequency table for correspondence map – Definitions of “luxury,” by age, August 2016
                                                                                          • Definitions of “luxury” can guide marketers’ messaging strategies
                                                                                            • Figure 26: Definitions of “luxury” – Select items (younger higher than older), by age, August 2016
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Definitions of “luxury” – Select items (older higher than younger), by age, August 2016
                                                                                        • Affluent and HNWI Luxury Purchases in the Last 18 Months

                                                                                            • Nearly half of Affluents purchased luxury goods in the past 18 months
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Luxury purchases in the last 18 months, by Affluent/HNWIs, household net worth vs all, August 2016/June 2016
                                                                                            • Under-45s are top purchasers of premium, luxury brands
                                                                                                • Figure 29: Luxury purchases in the last 18 months, by gender and age, August 2016
                                                                                            • Affluent and HNWI Luxury Purchasing Habits

                                                                                                • Buying on sale or discount more common than paying full price
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Luxury purchasing habits, August 2016
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Century 21 online store – Email advertisement, October 2016
                                                                                                  • Luxury brands looking to increase sales need to focus on a select few
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Luxury purchasing habits, by luxury purchasing habits, August 2016
                                                                                                    • Higher incomes allow greater ability to afford buying designer
                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Budget for designer clothes, by household income, April 2015-June 2016
                                                                                                  • Types of Luxury Products Affluent and HNWI Purchased

                                                                                                      • Affluent and HNWIs luxury purchases trend similarly to all consumers
                                                                                                        • Watches and jewelry
                                                                                                          • Clothing and footwear
                                                                                                            • Handbags and accessories
                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Types of luxury products purchased, by Affluent/HNWIs vs all, August 2016/May 2014
                                                                                                            • Discounting leads to more purchases ... but is it worth the cost?
                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Types of luxury products purchased, by luxury purchasing habits, August 2016
                                                                                                            • Men buying gifts for others – And for themselves
                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Types of luxury products purchased – Males more likely, by gender, August 2016
                                                                                                            • Women are pampering themselves – Handbags are the top purchase
                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Types of luxury products purchased – Females more likely, by gender, August 2016
                                                                                                            • Younger Affluent/HNWI luxury buyers purchase more product types
                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Number of types of luxury products purchased, by age, August 2016
                                                                                                          • Where Affluent and HNWI Purchase Luxury Goods

                                                                                                              • Department stores are top retailers, but half of Affluent/HNWIs buy online
                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Retail channels for luxury products, by Affluent/HNWIs vs all August 2016/June 2016
                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Retail channels for luxury products, crossed by types of luxury products purchased, August 2016
                                                                                                                • Luxury buyers who pay full price spread the wealth
                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Retail channels for luxury products, by luxury purchasing habits, August 2016
                                                                                                                • Younger Affluent/HNWIs moving toward buying luxury online
                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Retail channels for luxury products, by age, August 2016
                                                                                                              • Luxury Brands Affluent and HNWI Desire Most

                                                                                                                  • The most valuable luxury brands are not necessarily the most desired
                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Luxury brands most desired, August 2016
                                                                                                                  • Men drive desire for Rolex, Gucci; women for Chanel, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton
                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Luxury brands most desired, by gender, August 2016
                                                                                                                  • Brands that appeal to older crowd may need to reconsider strategy
                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Luxury brands most desired, by age, August 2016
                                                                                                                • Affluent and HNWI Perceptions of Luxury Brands

                                                                                                                    • Not all luxury brands are considered higher quality
                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Perceptions of luxury brands – Value, by affluent and HNWIs, August 2016
                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Perceptions of luxury brands – Image, by affluent and HNWIs, August 2016
                                                                                                                    • And while higher-income individuals have more positive views, many are unconvinced
                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Attitudes toward top designers and quality, by household income, April 2015 - June 2016
                                                                                                                    • Buying online is growing – But HNWIs are more concerned with the risk
                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Perceptions of luxury brands – Buying online, by Affluent and HNWIs, August 2016
                                                                                                                    • Age drives perceptions of luxury brands – And the overall experience
                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Perceptions of luxury brands – Value, image, online, by age, August 2016
                                                                                                                    • Affluent/HNWIs not sacrificing in order to buy luxury goods
                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Perceptions of luxury brands – Priorities, by Affluent/HNWIs vs all, August 2016/September 2014
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                                                                      • Sales data
                                                                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                          • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                • Terms
                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Top 10 countries in the luxury market, by sales (€bn), 2011-15
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Top 10 countries in the luxury market, by sales ($bn), 2011-15
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: US dollar to euro annual average exchange rates, 2010-15
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Country shares of the global luxury market, 2011-15

                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.