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Consumer Research: Affluents, Students & More

By Karina Masolova,

Along with Gen Z, Millennial spending power will account for 45% of the global personal luxury goods market by 2025, according to a recent study by Bain & Company.

The global toy market is forecast to hit $139 billion by 2025, according to the market research firm Coherent Market Insights. Its latest report forecasts that global revenue for the international traditional toys and games market grew 4.84% in 2017 to $95.97 billion. The biggest growth drivers are territories like China, India, and Brazil—specifically in categories like outdoor and sport toys, puzzles, educational toys, construction sets, and model vehicles. The traditional toys and games market in North America was valued at $28.73 billion in 2016 by the firm.

Supercell makes history as the first mobile publisher to have two multi-billion-dollar games on the Apple App Store and Google Play, according to market intelligence agency Sensor Tower. Mobile battle arena Clash Royale has now topped $2 billion since launching in March 2016. It joins Clash of Clans, which itself has now generated over $6 billion. Players from the U.S. account for the biggest chunk of revenue at around 30%.

Affluents Prefer Shopping Chanel, Nordstrom

Affluent consumers say Chanel and Louis Vuitton are the most “emotionally intelligent” brands, while among multi-brand retailers, that honor goes to Nordstrom, per the Luxury Institute’s annual Emotionally Intelligent Brand Index. The survey polled over 1,200 individuals with a minimum of $150,000 annual household income.

Nordstrom performs most strongly on empathy, trustworthiness, and generosity, particularly among women. Amazon is best-known retailer, with 88% familiarity versus 61% for Nordstrom, and also the most popular, with 79% of respondents reporting making a purchase from the ecommerce site in the last 12 months versus 27% for Nordstrom.

Perceptions are extremely mixed for Amazon, with 20% rating the site as having the best quality merchandise and 40% rating it as having the worst. Similarly, 36% say it has the best customer service and 24% say it has the worst. Fashion retailers rated and ranked are in alphabetical order:

  • Amazon
  • Barneys New York
  • Bergdorf Goodman
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Net-A-Porter
  • Nordstrom (No. 1)
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sephora
  • Ulta

Chanel is ranked first for its customer service experience and, like Louis Vuitton, is ranked highly in quality of products and customer service experience. When it comes to human elements, Chanel drops—ranking No. 13 for empathy, #3 for trustworthiness, and #13 for generosity and kindness.

In comparison, Stella McCartney is ranked No. 1 in generosity and kindness, #1 in empathy, #4 in trustworthiness, but #17 in quality of products and #6 in customer service experience. Brands rated and ranked in alphabetical order include:

  • Alexander McQueen
  • Balenciaga
  • Bally
  • Bottega Veneta
  • Burberry
  • Chanel (No. 1)
  • Chloé
  • Christian Dior
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Donna Karan
  • Fendi
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Givenchy
  • Gucci
  • Hermès
  • Louis Vuitton (No. 2)
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Michael Kors
  • Miu Miu
  • Prada
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Saint Laurent
  • Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Stella McCartney
  • Tory Burch
  • Valentino
  • Vera Wang
  • Versace

Back-to-School Shoppers Dragging Their Feet

American consumers are delaying their back-to-school shopping, which is expected to fall 1% to $82.8 billion this year from $83.6 billion in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights and Analytics.

This year, K-12 students and their parents plan to spend $684.79 each for a total of $27.5 billion. Shoppers plan to spend the most on apparel ($236.90) followed by electronics ($187.10), shoes ($138.66), and school supplies ($122.13).

The NRF notes that kids today are more discerning, but that in exchange for meeting their exacting standards, parents are expecting kids to contribute. Teenagers will spend $35.60 of their own money on average for back-to-school, while pre-teens will spend $25.06.

College and graduate spending is set to hit its highest levels yet, with older students spending $942.17 each for a total of $55.3 billion. The older cohort will spend the most on electronics ($229.21) followed by apparel and accessories ($153.32), furnishings ($109.29), food ($102.82), shoes ($83.41), HBA ($78.70), school supplies ($69.46), gift cards ($62.61), and collegiate branded gear ($53.34).

Top destinations for both groups are department stores (57% of K-12 versus 40% of college students), online retailers (55% vs. 49%), and discount stores (52% vs. 35%).

And the shopping season is getting longer: more students are starting their shopping earlier and stretching it out until later, including not stocking up for the whole year and instead planning to replenish as needed throughout the year. Eighty-nine percent have not bought half of their lists; of those, half are still waiting for the best deals.


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