Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

Can Bulgari Sell Glamour While Cutting Costs?

Can Bulgari Sell Glamour While Cutting Costs? –

Since the 1990s, sales of luxury goods have exploded, along with the growth of a well-heeled new global elite, turning once little-known European brands into giants and transforming chic addresses like Fifth Avenue, Bond Street and the Champs-Élysées into veritable open-air malls for the upper middle class. However, demand for luxury goods is expected to drop by 3 to 7 percent next year, according to a recent study by Bain & Company, the first time the sector has recorded an annual sales decrease since Bain began tracking it in the early 1990s.


Filed under: affluent, economy, luxury, shopping

Luxury Shoppers Migrate Toward The Web

MediaPost Publications – Luxury Shoppers Migrate Toward The Web – 07/21/2008

A new poll from the Luxury Institute finds that Americans with annual incomes of at least $150,000 are more likely to research luxury purchases on the Web.

Filed under: affluent, Consumer, Internet, luxury, online retail, shopping

Major Retailers Feel the Squeeze From Consumers

Once seemingly invincible marquee chains like Coach, Starbucks and
Abercrombie & Fitch are settling for ho-hum growth this winter.


Major Retailers Feel the Squeeze From Consumers – New York Times
As the nation’s merchants began poring — or weeping — over holiday sales receipts Wednesday, a surprising pattern emerged: even brands that for years have inspired the undying devotion of shoppers felt the pinch of tightening wallets.

Once seemingly invincible marquee chains like Coach, Target, Starbucks and Abercrombie & Fitch are settling for ho-hum growth this winter, after surpassing even the most rosy expectations season after season.

Though they sell very different products, at very different prices,
these companies all shared the same bragging rights. Their customers
considered them indispensable, even expressions of who they were.

But in this turbulent economy, the indispensable is becoming disposable.

Filed under: clothing, Consumer, gift giving, holidays, luxury, shopping, trends

Why the Perfume Business Is Beginning to Stink

More than 200 new prestige perfumes–those sold in department stores and
cosmetics shops, rather than drugstores or supermarkets–were unveiled in the
U.S. in 2006, according to NPD Group. But sales of these high-end
perfumes–which make up 60% of the overall fragrance market — have been
slowing. Total revenue is expected to grow less than 3% globally this year,
according to Euromonitor, while the overall luxury goods sector is up by about

The reason is olfactory overkill. To lure consumers, perfume brands
have mounted huge advertising and distribution campaigns, selling perfumes in
their own boutiques as well as in department stores and airport duty-free shops
world-wide. They have also kept prices low; while high-end leather bags and
sunglasses have steadily risen in price, most designer perfumes still cost less
than $100.


Why the Perfume Business Is Beginning to Stink –
PARIS — After years of gorging on celebrity scents and fashion-house fragrances, consumers are turning up their noses at designer perfumes.

“The offer is so enormous, you get lost going into a perfume shop,” says Daniela Andrier, a perfume-maker at Swiss fragrance company Givaudan SA. “It’s like eating off a plate with too much food and you lose your appetite.”

Over the past few years, exclusive fashion brands such as Prada, Gucci and Hermès have been churning out new fragrances as a way to ensnare consumers who can’t afford their $5,000 bags, but will splurge on a $100 bottle of “eau de toilette.” Celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion have also unveiled eponymous fragrance lines.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, Fragrance, living target, luxury

Latest Luxury: The Store Concierge

High-end retailers are installing concierges in the race to attract customers and set themselves apart.


Latest Luxury: The Store Concierge –
Not long ago, Mark Krug, a concierge at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, dealt with a panicked hotel guest who had arrived at 10 p.m. in an irreparably ripped pair of pants.

The executive had an important business meeting the next morning and needed new slacks to match his suit jacket. Mr. Krug knew exactly what to do. He dialed the cell phone of the concierge at the Dallas store of luxury retailer Barneys New York. The concierge, Gary Jackson, who goes by the name Jackson, opened the locked store, scooped up some potential selections and brought them to the hotel by 11 p.m.

Filed under: Consumer, Customization, luxury, trends

Luxury-Car Sellers Put on the Ritz

For dealers that sell the three top luxury brands — Lexus, BMW and
Mercedes — building palace-like showrooms is also just about the only
way to grow. Many of these dealerships offer services such as manicures, coffee bars, massage chairs and other luxurious amenities to draw in super-rich customers.


Luxury-Car Sellers Put on the Ritz –
For many people, a trip to the auto dealer means a mind-numbing hour or two in a plastic chair with some tattered magazines and stale coffee.

But some major auto retailers are starting to change that, at least for buyers and owners of luxury vehicles. In the past year or so, several dealership chains have begun giving their luxury-car showrooms multimillion-dollar makeovers. The goal is to create the look and feel of five-star hotels for customers, increase the dealerships’ car allocations and even make it less likely that rival dealerships will pop up nearby.

Filed under: auto, Consumer, Customization, luxury

Male Bonding

Many luxury brands, known for their focus on women, are hoping to spur
sales by luring male shoppers with new stores and product lines.


Male Bonding –
While Christmas shopping recently, Stuart R. Gelles stopped in a Louis Vuitton store in New York in search of a handbag for his wife. Instead, he found himself lingering in the men’s department, where he bought a $1,330 briefcase-style bag for himself.

“I never thought I would be looking for something for myself,” says the 50-year-old professional-development coach, who was surprised to see so many men’s items. He says he’s returning to the store to buy a gift for his wife.

Filed under: Consumer, fashion, luxury

Report: Shoppers Losing Their Appetite For High-End Toys

A more stable selling environment and rational pricing bodes well for store
profitability. “We also saw a significant change in the composition of what was
selling-there were a lot more lower-dollar-value items than we’ve seen in
previous years, and a lot of accessories,” says an NPD analyst, “and those tend
to be a little more profitable.”


MediaPost Publications – Report: Shoppers Losing Their Appetite For High-End Toys – 12/06/2007
BASED ON THE FIRST READING of holiday sales of consumer electronics, consumers seem to be losing some of their tech enthusiasm.

Total spending on electronics gained just 6%–to $2.2 billion–in the first week of the holiday season, compared to a gain of 12% in the same period a year ago, reports The NPD Group. And it’s the first time in the six years that NPD has tracked this point-of-sale data that dollar-sales growth has dipped below double digits.

Filed under: Consumer, kids, luxury, Toys

High-End Marketers Push Higher Men’s Jewelry Sales

Men are becoming increasingly comfortable with the expertise they’ve gained buying women’s jewelry “and are now willing to use that expertise on themselves.” In addition to cufflinks and tie bars, says Saks Fifth Avenue, sales of bracelets and necklaces have been strong, as have ring sales, reflecting a rise in gay marriages.


MediaPost Publications – High-End Marketers Push Higher Men’s Jewelry Sales – 12/05/2007
BEEN NOTICING A LITTLE MORE bling in your weekly sales meetings? A new report from Unity Marketing says that’s because sales of men’s fine jewelry is hot, doubling to $6 billion from 2004 to 2006. While that still accounts for just about 10% of the total jewelry market, says Pam Danziger, president of Unity, “it’s becoming too large a market for most companies to ignore.”

Fueling the gains, she says, is “a return to more formal business attire, with men wanting to buy tie tacks and cufflinks. It’s not all about watches anymore.”

Filed under: Consumer, fashion, luxury, Men, shopping, trends

To Reach Upscale Consumers, Upscale Customer Service is Essential

The Luxury Institute, which specializes in reviewing high-net worth marketing
trends sees several trends for the upcoming new year.


To Reach Upscale Consumers, Upscale Customer Service is Essential
If you want to reach upscale consumers with luxury products, be prepared to go above and beyond the typical call of duty. The Luxury Institute, which specializes in reviewing high-net worth marketing programs, sees several trends for the upcoming new year.

Filed under: Consumer, luxury, trends

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