Luxury Buyers Drive High-End Sales

May 10, 2004

Luxury Buyers Drive High-End Sales

Luxury retailers reported strong sales numbers for the month of April. The Neiman Marcus Group, Dallas, TX, posted a 14% gain in same store sales, while Nordstrom, Seattle, WA, delivered a 10% increase. Discount retailers didn't fare as well, with Kohl's Corp., Menomonee Falls, WI, and Sears, Roebuck & Co., Hoffman Estates, IL, posting same-store sales declines of 4.6% and 1.8%, respectively.

Analysts attribute the strong performance of luxury retailers to affluent consumer buying that's immune to higher gas or grocery prices and isn't as affected by threatened rises in interest rates or job insecurity.

Many analysts say that new fashions and new styles with unique colors have inspired women to buy again. An emphasis on looking pretty has sparked renewed demand for accessories and cosmetics in particular. Luxury retailers also did a good job differentiating their products from those on offer at other department stores and specialty retailers. These factors led to an increase in full-priced sales, reports Nordstrom.

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