Spending on luxury items cools but travel remains heated: Saks Fifth Avenue
Inflation-driven price hikes are starting to hurt well-heeled shoppers at Saks Fifth Avenue, according to a new survey of retailers.
About 62% of Saks customers said they plan to spend the same amount or more on luxury items in the next several months, down from 68% in September when the company periodically reported Organized by Saks Luxury Pulse.
“We’re coming off a couple of years of unsustainable growth and I think we’re in for a bit of a mess,” Saks.com Chief Executive Mark Metrick told The Post. “We saw it coming at the end of last year and we’re experiencing it now.”
The survey of 2,832 US-based customers over the age of 18, conducted between January 13-17, also showed that shoppers are prioritizing their discretionary funds on travel, then events and activities and finally apparel.
About 72% of Saks customers have already booked or plan to book travel, including to hot climate destinations, according to the survey.
Holiday spending is boosting the luxury retailer and website traffic has been “strong,” but the conversion of browsers to buyers is “not where we want it to be,” Metrick said.
He said shoppers are “shopping more deliberately and longer.”
Among those earning $200,000 or more, about 68% plan to spend the same or more on luxury goods, down from 70% in September, according to the survey.
About 58% of consumers earning between $100,000 and $199,000 plan to spend the same or more on luxury this spring, down from 66% in September.
Meanwhile, 55% of those making less than $100,000 plan to spend the same, down from 61%.
Sachs uses the index as a bellwether for consumer sentiment to determine what services customers value.
“We really like in-store returns and have gone out of our way with our Saks Fifth Avenue stores” to accommodate shoppers who buy something online and want to return it to a brick-and-mortar store. Matric said that there are special return desks for online returns.
Last month, Neiman Marcus eliminated its store return desks, as the Post reported, as part of a layoff of about 5% of its workforce.