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Wealthy consumers appreciate a bargain in clothing and fashion accessories, according to Stevens, Pa.-based Unity Marketing. “A ‘less is more’ approach is emerging among these consumers — rampant materialism is on the decline,” amid heightened concerns about the economy, president Pamela Danziger said. “This will place competitive pressure on luxury companies and retailers as they face a newly resistant affluent consumer with a mind-set to hold onto their cash.” The firm has released its Luxury Report 2008, which analyzed where wealthy shoppers said they spent their dollars in 2007. About 2,000 respondents with annual household incomes of $150,000 and more were surveyed. Results showed mass-discount and midtier department stores dominating the top 12.
Wealthy consumers who said they purchased items here in 2007: 54.7 percent
“There’s a viability today in cheap-chic that probably wasn’t there a couple of years ago — retailers like Target are really tapping into designer names,” Danziger said. “Target also attracts the interest of affluent consumers by offering viable products at lower costs.” In addition to offering selections from Liz Lange, Mossimo and Isaac Mizrahi (his contract is up at the end of 2008), the retailer introduced its eco-friendly Rogan for Target’s Go International line earlier this month at Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship May 9 to 11, and will be at Barneys’ Los Angeles store May 16 to 18.
The company “made a strategic change by converting all their stores over to Macy’s,” Danziger said. “This brand is so well known in cities like New York, but it faces challenges in places like Chicago, where consumers are still unhappy with the store conversions [from Marshall Field’s to the Macy’s name].” Popular fashion brands include Coach, DKNY Jeans, Tommy Hilfiger and Seven For All Mankind. The retailer, which reported a first-quarter loss of $59 million, or 14 cents a diluted share, from continuing operations, is making a push westward with its expansion in the Phoenix area and in Las Vegas.