Saks’ latest Luxury Pulse Survey*, fielded in late April and early May, found that respondents were concerned (60 percent) about the overall economy but optimistic (67 percent) about their financial situation. Compared to the retailer’s last survey in late January, spending on luxury goods decelerated as consumers focused more on savings and travel.
Luxury Consumer Spending Plans
Amidst concerns about the economy, more than half of respondents in Saks’ latest survey (53 percent) said they plan to spend the same or more on luxury goods in the next three months compared to the previous three months and compared to 62 percent of respondents in the prior Saks Luxury Pulse fielded in late January.
- 57 percent of respondents with an income of $200K or more plan to spend the same or more on luxury in the next three months, down from 68 percent in the January survey;
- 57 percent of Millennial respondents plan to spend the same or more on luxury in the next three months, down from 64 percent in the January survey;
- When asked what would motivate respondents to spend more on luxury, 43 percent who plan to spend less said they would need to see improvement in the overall economy, while 54 percent said that they would be enticed by a sale or promotional event, reinforcing an ongoing interest in shopping for luxury;
- 82 percent of respondents plan to prioritize saving the same or more in the next three months compared to the last three months, and 71 percent said they plan to spend the same or more on travel; and
- 77 percent of respondents said they plan to, or have already, book a trip soon, and, of those, 74 percent said they plan to buy luxury items in preparation for their trips.
“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 of 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.”
Luxury Consumer Shopping Intentions
Nearly half of the respondents (49 percent) said that their wardrobe is outdated and needs a refresh, and many continue to embrace the “quiet luxury” trend and invest in timeless and comfortable pieces.
- More Millennial respondents (40 percent) said they need to update their wardrobe because their style has changed, compared to fewer Gen X (35 percent) and Baby Boomer and Silent Gen respondents (24 percent);
- Millennial respondents’ top priorities when getting dressed and shopping over the next few months are timeless items (87 percent), comfortable (87 percent), simple and understated (78 percent), rather than on-trend (44 percent);
- 60 percent of respondents said they know the “quiet luxury” trend and 86 percent said they had integrated it into their wardrobe;
- Of those planning to integrate “quiet luxury” into their wardrobe, 35 percent cited their desire to be more sustainable as the inspiration. Given the “timelessness and quality of quiet luxury pieces,” many respondents look to the trend as a way to invest in timeless fashion.
Emily Essner, chief marketing officer of Saks, added, “As we continue to fulfill our role in serving as a source of fashion inspiration, insights from the Saks Luxury Pulse report help us optimize our content, whether through our curated arrays on Saks.com, our social media content or our personalized customer communications, so it’s most relevant to our customers and reflects their interests. Our customers have indicated that they have a desire to update their wardrobes, which serves as an opportunity for us to provide them with more fashion discovery as their personal style continues to evolve.”
*The Saks Luxury Pulse Survey is a periodic online survey of luxury consumers’ attitudes toward shopping, spending and fashion trends. It is based on responses from 3,744 U.S.-based consumers over 18 and fielded between April 28 to May 1, 2023.