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February 24, 2013

Luxury-Marketing Insights: Wealthy Consumers Flock to Target but Love the Lord & Taylor Experience, Prefer Apple for Electronics, Staples for Supplies

U.S. shoppers earning at least $150,000 a year rank 16 mainstream retailers in the 2013 Luxury Consumer Experience (LCEI) survey jointly conducted by the New York-based Luxury Institute and Customer Culture Institute. Respondents evaluated national and regional department store brands, as well retailers of office supplies and electronics.

Among national retailers, Lord & Taylor earns the highest (8.00) LCEI score, and ranks first on all seven subcomponents, which include shoppers' evaluations of staff, stores and degree of overall satisfaction. Lord & Taylor was visited by just 14% of surveyed shoppers in the past year but those who did rave about their experiences. Target, the most popular chain, saw visits from 66% of wealthy shoppers but earns a 6.90 LCEI score.

In electronics, Apple's LCEI score of 8.40 tops Best Buy's 6.97. Apple also enjoys nearly unanimous (98%) agreement from shoppers that they will come back to Apple retail locations in the future, compared to 92% for Best Buy.

Staples (7.31) is the clear winner in office supplies, ranked ahead of Office Depot (7.05) and OfficeMax (7.00).

Iowa-based Von Maur receives the highest LCEI score (8.61) among regional retailers and the highest of all 16 brands covered. Furthermore, 100% of Von Maur's wealthy customers plan to shop there again.

"Wealthy consumers don't confine their shopping to luxury retailers. In fact, they spend much more with mainstream brands," said Luxury Institute and Customer Culture Institute CEO Milton Pedraza, in a news release. "As in luxury, brands that differentiate themselves with a customer centric culture are the ones that rank highest."

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