Living larger: Half of Americans will buy luxury in coming months

In the next six months, half of American consumers said they’ll buy luxury goods – just nothing too extravagant, according to a new report.

Restrained purchases are key, according to a survey from consulting company Accenture.

Out of more than 2,000 adult consumers, 53% said they’ll likely pick up specialty food or drinks while 48% indicated future splurging on fancy clothing and 48% predicted spending on high-end personal care items.


“Consumers want a taste of luxury in their everyday lives and are willing to spend a little extra for the experience, but the emphasis is on small items,” said Tom Jacobson, an Accenture managing director, in a statement. “They may think twice about purchasing a new handbag, but shop for a wallet as an alternative.”

Quality is the most important element in a luxury acquisition, followed by price and trailed by brand name, according to the report.

And the upswing in luxury spending is more a Millennial phenomenon than it is a Boomer mentality, with 35% of young consumers planning to buy indulgent goods while 46% of their older counterparts said they wouldn’t.

And buyers are more inclined to visit brick and mortar stores for upscale shopping, with 36% preferring physical stores, where they can see and touch items in person. Less than 2 in 10 respondents gravitated to swanky offerings online – and those mostly said they were more attracted to Web discounts than the convenience of the Internet.

But even in the upper echelons of posh shopping, one in five consumers said they visited a store only to buy an item online sometime in the last six months. The so-called showrooming effect has retailers such as Best Buy putting in price-matching strategies before the holiday season.

“Traditional retailers, online stores and even designers need to have a very compelling answer to the question: What is the advantage of buying from me?” Jacobson said. “Without that answer, online price comparison engines, bar code scanners and shopping apps will win consumers over.”


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