Affluent consumers around the world are showing optimism for their economic well-being, especially in India, China and the United States.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed priorities and expectations, luxury has become more experiential and value-driven. According to the latest report from Agility Research and Strategy, Chinese millionaires are expected to spend more in the beauty and fashion categories, while those in the United States and United Kingdom plan to increase their spending on travel.
Between February and April 2021, Agility conducted interviews with more than 1,000 millionaires in key global luxury markets: the U.S., China, India, the U.K., France and Japan.
“Definitions around luxury have evolved and people associate luxury with health, life enjoyment and freedom,” said Amrita Banta, managing director at Agility, Singapore. “Social responsibility is now a defining factor and consumers are paying a premium for brands that embrace the right values of sustainability, diversity and inclusion.”
Millionaires bounce back
Changes in consumer values continue to be reflected in the way luxury is defined.
A female millionaire in her 40s from New York told Agility that luxury now equates to good health. Agility found this to be a frequent sentiment in the U.S., specifically.
However, some continue to associate luxury with the quality, exclusivity and price of goods. A male consumer in his retirement from Los Angeles told Agility that luxury means getting the highest quality product or service.
Chinese millionaires have a more complex and diverse definition of luxury.
A female luxury consumer from Shanghai shared that luxury is associated with her position in society and defined luxury as a status symbol.
A majority of Chinese and U.S. affluents, at a respective 63 and 64 percent, expect their disposable income to increase by 55 percent over the next 12 months. In India, 79 percent of millionaires expect their disposable income to increase by 70 percent.
Along with more traditional definitions of luxury associated with quality, price and self-reward, there is a link between luxury and sustainability. One male luxury consumer in his 30s from Beijing told Agility that luxury means having more environmentally friendly choices.
Almost 90 percent of Chinese millionaires care that the brands they buy from are ethically responsible, closely echoed by Indian millionaires in this aspect.
Luxury brands are responding by making sustainable goods easier to identify.
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