While it would be difficult to match the 96% growth in flash sales spending by Top Spenders in 2010, this group did increase spending in this category by 5% in 2011. The same group increased spending on full-priced online luxury retail as well, with a 17% gain in 2011.Additional key findings from the latest research include:
- Gen Y Makes Statement in Luxury Spend - Mirroring the demand for luxury retail overall, Gen Y consumers increased spend on premium luxury fashion by 33% in 2011 over the year prior. Despite representing the smallest group of luxury consumers today, Gen Y grew spending the most in full-priced online luxury retail, by 31% in 2011 over the year prior, compared to Gen X at 23%, Boomers at 19% and Seniors at 6% for the same period. Gen Y also led spending among all groups in specific retail categories such as jewelry, with an increase of 27% for 2011 as compared to Gen X and Boomers, which increased 2% and 4%, respectively, and Seniors, which declined spend on trinkets and baubles by 3% in 2011.
- Seniors Show Affinity for Online Luxury Bargain Hunting - While early-adopting Gen Y shoppers have made a clear progression from discount online luxury fashion to full-priced online luxury retail, Seniors overall are increasingly enjoying the concept of luxury flash sales. Seniors led all other age groups in spend growth for online luxury flash sale websites during 2011 at 28%, followed by Gen Y at 19%, Gen X at 12% and Boomers at 9%. Seniors’ overall spend on brick and mortar premium fashion, in contrast, decreased by 1% in 2011 over the year prior.
- Retail Spending Abroad Dampened by Eurozone Concerns - Looking beyond the U.S., consumers in Europe have noticeably pared back their luxury retail spend as the Eurozone economies look to find traction. Over the prior year period, luxury retail spend showed flat to modest declines across core European regions such as France (0%), Italy (down 4%) and the United Kingdom (down 2%). Fourth quarter 2011 spending further underscored the continuing economic challenges in the Eurozone. All of the European regions studied saw declines during the fourth quarter of 2011 over the same prior year period: France saw spending decline 6%, Italy shrunk luxury spending by 11%, and the U.K. declined 5% during Q4 2011.
About American Express Business InsightsAs part of the Global Merchant Services organization within American Express Company, American Express Business Insights provides in-depth, actionable insights into consumer and business spending at the business, industry and geographic levels, leveraging proprietary transaction data from the American Express network of approximately 90 million cards in force across over 125 markets. American Express Business Insights produces in-depth quarterly reports for the Airline, Car Rental, Cruise, Lodging, Restaurant, Entertainment and various Luxury Retail categories, as well as sector-specific geographic reports. These full-length Industry IQ reports are available for purchase at www.americanexpress.com/businessinsights. About Research from American Express Business Insights The data shown in American Express Business Insights research are derived from transactions on the American Express payment network projected to reflect the general population in the consumer segments shown. The data do not represent American Express’s own performance in the industry segments shown and do not represent the spending behavior of American Express Cardmembers overall or in any particular cardmember segment.