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Survey: Luxury spending focus shifts to travel, savings

luxury shopper with bags
Luxury consumers are tapering their spending on goods.

Consumers are prioritizing savings and travel amid concerns about the economy. 

That’s according to the latest Saks Luxury Pulse survey, which found that respondents feel concerned (60%) about the overall economy, yet optimistic (67%) about their personal financial situation.   

Fielded in late April and early May, the survey point to a deceleration in spending on luxury goods as consumers focus more on savings and travel.  Amid concerns about the economy, 53% of respondents are planning to spend the same or more on luxury in the next three months, down from  62% of respondents in the prior Saks Luxury Pulse, which was fielded in late January.

Also,  57% of respondents with an income of $200,000  or more plan to spend the same or more on luxury in the next three months, down from 68% in the January survey. 

When asked what would motivate them to spend more on luxury, 43% of respondents who plan to spend less said they would need to see improvement in the overall economy. And 54% said that they would be enticed by a sale or promotional event, reinforcing an ongoing interest in shopping for luxury, according to the survey. 

Other findings from the Saks survey are below.

•Nearly half (49%) of respondents feel that their wardrobe is outdated and needs a refresh. More millennial respondents (40%) feel they need to update their wardrobe because their personal style has changed, compared to 35% of Gen X and 24% of Baby Boomer and Silent Gen respondents.

•Seventy-seven percent of respondents are planning to or have already booked a trip in the near future and, of those, 74% said they plan to buy luxury items in preparation for their trips. 

•Eighty-two percent plan to prioritize saving the same or more in the next three months compared to the last three months, and 71% plan to spend the same or more on travel. 

•Millennial respondents’ top priorities when getting dressed and shopping over the next few months are items that are timeless (87%), comfortable (87%) and simple and understated (78%), rather than on trend (44%).

•Sixty-percent of respondents have been aware of the quiet luxury trend, and of those, 86% said they already integrate it into their wardrobe.  Of those planning to integrate quiet luxury into their wardrobe, 35% cited their desire to be more sustainable as their inspiration. 

“In line with our strategy and expectations for the year, the luxury consumer is responding to the economic environment and tapering their spending on luxury items,” said Marc Metrick, CEO, Saks. “As we have taken steps to ensure Saks is best positioned to navigate the rest of the year, the latest Saks Luxury Pulse findings reinforce our confidence in our strategy. We are pleased to see that even as they reprioritize their spending, consumers still have an appetite for luxury goods. Given the luxury consumer’s history of resilience, we anticipate their spending will be reinvigorated when the economic environment begins to improve.”

The Saks Luxury Pulse is a periodic online survey of luxury consumers’ attitudes towards shopping, spending and fashion trends. It is based on responses from 3,744 U.S.-based respondents over age 18 and was fielded between April 28-May 1, 2023. 

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