America’s richest are spending less cash, and are being more choosy about the products they actually buy. The Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America 2010–a creation of American Express Publishing and the Harrison Group–polled about 2,400 people from the richest 10% of U.S. households.
Below are the top 10 consumer trends of the ultra-wealthy:
The wealthy are spending less and shopping smarter: The rich are still willing to buy high-end products, but relish sales and quality, not namesake or status.
They may not be optimistic, but they’re happy. About 91% of those surveyed thought the U.S. was still in the middle of a recession, and 60% felt it would take one year or more for a full recovery. But 71% were happy in their personal relationships. Contrast that to the 43% of the general population who reported being happy.
Family is important. About 83% of those surveyed said they eat dinner with their family at least four times a week, up from 16% five years ago when they survey began.
Cutting costs is stylish now. You might see an increase of millionaires shopping at Wal-Mart. More than 77% of respondents defined themselves as resourceful and more self-reliant. Online deals and coupons are big, and the rich were more likely to wait for items to go on sale than in the past. Purchasing generic brands and buying in bulk were also popular.
They are less worried about their jobs. Confidence in job security increased 20% from last year.
More online shopping, less real people. Good news for Amazon, EBay and Google: the affluent prefer to research and purchase products online, and far fewer relied on salespeople.
They are better communicators. About 64% said that they now talk to their kids and spouse about money. Divorce is also down nationwide.
They feel less guilty about being rich. In 2009, many of the wealthy surveyed felt guilty about buying luxury goods or discussing their worth. Now, they’re trending toward less guilt and a greater desire for people to know they are affluent.
They’re increasing brand loyalty. There was a 6 % increase in consumers who said “I have a few brands that I like, and a 7 % increase in those who said “the brands I wear say a lot about me.
Print might make a comeback, maybe. About 69% answered that they pay more attention to print ads than those online. Only 8% said they use Facebook to make a purchasing decision, though more than 40 % had Facebook accounts.
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