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American Express Business Insights Data Show Full-Price Online Luxury Fashion Spending Sizzling As New York Fashion Week Heats Up

With a greater number of consumers having acquired a taste for luxury fashion in recent years through the proliferation of flash sale websites, full-priced online luxury retailers are now reaping the benefits, reveals new data released today from American Express Business Insights during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Average Spenders—consumers who fall outside of the top 10% of spenders (Top Spenders)—are leading spend growth in all fashion categories, including premium luxury and full-priced online luxury retail, while the most active consumers are reining in their spend.

The new findings from American Express Business Insights, which include analyses of in-store and online spending at premium and discount luxury merchants across a range of consumer demographics, are based on actual, aggregated spending data from 2009 through 2011. The new data reveals additional telling shifts in luxury fashion spending both domestically and abroad. While young Gen Y consumers are demonstrating a growing hunger for full-priced online luxury, Seniors are showing a surprisingly voracious appetite for online shopping. Seniors now dominate spend growth on flash sale websites, outpacing growth by all other demographics, whereas they are not bringing the same enthusiasm to the shopping mall. Data shows that Seniors’ spending remained essentially flat at brick and mortar department stores for the same period.

Newly Acquired Taste for Luxury Fashion Results in Win for Premium Retailers

The data suggest that online discount luxury websites – or flash sales – have stimulated consumers’ appetites for luxury fashion to such a degree that they are now flocking to full-priced online luxury fashion at a much more rapid pace. Whereas in 2010 flash sales saw a jump of 92% in spending over the year prior by Average Spenders, this gain dropped to 21% for 2011. The growth trajectory was higher for full-priced online luxury websites where spending increased to 25% in 2011 from 20% in 2010.

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