Luxury Institute News

February 19, 2013

Wealthy Flock To Target But Love The Lord & Taylor Experience, Prefer Apple For Electronics, Staples For Supplies

(NEW YORK) February 19, 2013 – 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 independent and objective 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,” says Luxury Institute and Customer Culture Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “As in luxury, brands that differentiate themselves with a customer centric culture are the ones that rank highest.”

About Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

February 5, 2013

Wealthy Customers Sing Praises of Shopping Experiences at Bergdorf, Nordstrom and Barneys

(NEW YORK) February 05, 2013 – U.S. shoppers earning at least $150,000 a year share detailed opinions and evaluations of seven leading luxury retailers in the 2013 Luxury Consumer Experience Index (LCEI) conducted by the independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute.  Based on an average of seven customer experience components rated on a 1-10 scale, Bergdorf Goodman (8.58) ranks first, but wealthy consumers are far more likely to shop at second-place Nordstrom (8.36).

Visited by 34% of wealthy shoppers in the past 12 months, Nordstrom is the most popular luxury retail chain, and it is also most likely (92%) to be recommended favorably to family and friends. The affluent shoppers who have visited Bergdorf Goodman’s two stores in the past 12 months rave about it, ranking it first on six of seven experience criteria, including having polite, trustworthy, knowledgeable and enthusiastic employees, as well as stores that are appealing and well maintained.  Bergdorf’s parent, Neiman Marcus, ranks first for being the retailer that high-income shoppers say, “completely satisfies my needs.”

Despite the high praise for its people and its stores, wealthy shoppers perceive Bergdorf’s merchandise as a bit too pricey, ranking it last (63%) on the question of whether its products are worth premium prices.  Barneys New York ranks first (85%) for deserving premium pricing.

“Bergdorf Goodman retains the cachet of a classic boutique that delivers outstanding experiences,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “On a larger scale, Nordstrom deserves credit for replicating great experiences with a customer centric culture across its entire network of stores.”

Wealthy shoppers also evaluated Saks Fifth Avenue, Burberry, Bloomingdale’s and Brooks Brothers.

About Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)

The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

January 10, 2013

Audi, Lexus And BMW Triumph As Leading High-End Auto Brands By Wealthy U.S. Drivers

(NEW YORK) – U.S. luxury automobile consumers rank Audi highest in the 2013 Luxury Consumer Experience (LCEI) survey conducted by the independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute.  LCEI scores (1-10) are averages of wealthy respondents’ ratings across ten areas of consideration, including evaluations of the vehicles they own or lease, their dealership experience, and their overall brand buying and ownership experience.

In addition to earning the highest LCEI score (8.36) of the ten brands surveyed, Audi ranks first for the consistently superior design and quality materials of its cars.  In addition, Audi’s dealership staff is recognized for being the most trustworthy and knowledgeable.  Audi also leads other carmakers in terms of future repeat purchase intent, with 96% of respondents saying they would consider buying or leasing an Audi again based on their experience with the brand.

Lexus ranks closely behind Audi with an overall score of 8.34, based largely on the dealership experience and its positive representation of the brand.  The Japanese automaker earns top honors for superior sales and service experiences, respectful dealership personnel, and long term relationship building.  BMW (8.27) and Mercedes-Benz (8.06) rank third and fourth, respectively.

“Wealthy consumers’ perceptions of brand experience encompass everything from the physical quality of the car to interactions with the sales and service departments at dealerships,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Especially at the high-end, luxury automakers must be aware of how people and products combine to affect a brand’s reputation.”

Survey participants reported $2.4 million average net worth and $283,000 average income.

About Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

January 7, 2013

Audi Rated Top Luxury Automotive Brand in 2013 Luxury Customer Experience Index

Brad Stertz
Audi of America Communications
January 4, 2013

HERNDON, Va. – Audi today announced that it received the top overall ranking in the 2013 Luxury Customer Experience Index (LCEI), conducted by the independent and objective Luxury Institute. The LCEI is based on data collected from affluent customers who were asked to evaluate 10 different aspects of ownership and customer experience of the luxury automotive brands they have recently used on a 0-10 scale. Among the 10 brands evaluated, Audi received the highest overall score of 8.36, recognized by customers for its consistently superior design and quality materials, and trustworthiness and knowledge of dealership staff.

“We are very pleased to have been ranked first overall in The Luxury Customer Experience Index, and we are delighted to hear that nearly all Audi customers surveyed said they would recommend Audi to others and would purchase or lease an Audi again,” said Jeri Ward, Audi of America Director of Customer Experience. “Audi and our dealer partners are continuously striving to delight our current and future Audi owners through customer experiences that exceed their expectations, and the results of the Index prove we are making significant gains.”

In 2011, Audi created the Customer Experience Team, a new division within the U.S. organization, led by Jeri Ward, which focuses on strategy and programs for improving customer experience and loyalty across the company.

The LCEI is based on a nationwide in-depth survey of 1,234 luxury automobile owners, conducted in November 2012. Respondents – ages 21 and older and with a minimum gross annual income of $150,000 – evaluated levels of respect, knowledge and trust of dealership staff, dealership sales experience and service experience after purchase, among other factors.

ABOUT AUDI
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2011, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies. Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.

ABOUT LUXURY INSTITUTE (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises

May 9, 2012

Nordstrom Tops Luxe Experience Index

By Evan Clark
WWD
May 8, 2012

Nordstrom Inc.’s intense focus on customer service seems to be paying off.

The Seattle-based retailer ranked highest in the Luxury Institute’s 2012 Luxury Consumer Experience Index, a survey that tracks U.S. shoppers earning at least $150,000 a year and takes into account a retailer’s store personnel, shopping experience and the consumer’s overall satisfaction…

Click the link to read the entire article (subscription required): http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/department-stores/nordstrom-tops-luxe-experience-index-5899721?src=nl/mornReport/2012050

May 8, 2012

Nordstrom Ranks First in Luxury for Wealthy Shoppers; High-End Retailer Earns Top Scores on Multiple Measures of Customer Experience and Loyalty

(NEW YORK) May 8, 2012 — Wealthy U.S. shoppers earning at least $150,000 a year rank Nordstrom highest among luxury retailers in the 2012 Luxury Consumer Experience Index (LCEI) survey by the independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute. LCEI scores are based on customers’ evaluations of a brand’s store personnel, shopping environment and degree of satisfaction with the total experience.

Nordstrom earns the top overall score of 8.41 out of 10, followed by Neiman Marcus’ Bergdorf Goodman subsidiary (8.37), and Barneys New York (8.23). It is also the most widely visited luxury retailer, with 36% of wealthy consumers reporting shopping at Nordstrom in the past 12 months.

Only 7% of shoppers have visited Barneys, and 6% have shopped at Bergdorf Goodman, but exclusivity helps with pricing: 76% of Bergdorf’s shoppers and 74% of Barneys’ say that goods in those stores are worth a significant price premium; 65% say the same about Nordstrom’s merchandise.

“Retailers, especially in luxury, are selling experiences to customers more than they are selling any particular good,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “In the case of a retailer like Nordstrom, we see that a program of continuous improvement in the customer experience can lead to higher degrees of loyalty and improved financial performance.”

In addition to its top overall LCEI score, Seattle-based Nordstrom ranks first on two critical measures of customer loyalty: 96% of high-income shoppers plan to shop at Nordstrom again, and 94% recommend Nordstrom to family and close friends.

Survey participants reported average income of $292,000 and average net worth of $3 million.

About the Luxury Institute ( www.LuxuryInstitute.com )

The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

March 1, 2011

Wealthy U.S. Consumers Rate Bergdorf Goodman Customer Experience Best in Luxury Retail; Nordstrom Excels in Loyalty, Brooks Brothers in Total Satisfaction

(NEW YORK) March 1, 2011 – For the second consecutive year, Neiman Marcus’ Bergdorf Goodman subsidiary earns the top ranking among eight luxury retailers in the 2011 Luxury Consumer Experience Index (LCEI) survey of wealthy shoppers conducted by the independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute. Respondents rated retailers on store personnel, the shopping environment and whether the overall experience resulted in complete satisfaction.

Brooks Brothers earns the second highest overall LCEI score but ranks first for completely meeting wealthy customers’ needs. Nordstrom receives the third highest LCEI score, and remains the most popular luxury shopping destination, visited by 38% of wealthy shoppers in the past 12 months. It is also earns the highest loyalty, with 98% of shoppers planning to come back.

“The top-tier brands of luxury with resources are now focused on becoming customer-centric global enterprises,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “The only way to achieve this is to create establish a self-reinforcing culture of service to your associates and your customers. The work is extremely hard but the financial returns can be dramatic.”

Survey participants had minimum household income of $150,000, with average income of $271,000 and average net worth of $2.4 million.

About the Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)

The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

For Further Information, Please Contact:
The Luxury Institute, LLC
Martin Swanson
Vice President
(914) 909-6350
mswanson@luxuryinstitute.com

February 23, 2010

News Release: High Net-Worth Consumers Rank “Best of the Best” Luxury Retailer Customer Experience

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – February 23, 2010) – Given the tumultuous economy and its effect on luxury retail, the objective and independent New York City-based Luxury Institute reported the top-rated luxury retailer brands in the recently updated 2010 Luxury Customer Experience Index (LCEI) survey. The LCEI identifies the top brands that deliver true luxury customer experiences based solely on the independently verified ratings of wealthy and ultra-wealthy consumers.

The LCEI asks high net-worth customers to rate luxury brands by category across three equally weighted and detailed rating components: Complete Satisfaction, Brand Personnel and Store Environment. The survey also measures Problems and Resolutions, Worthiness of a Significant Price Premium and Willingness to Recommend.

The “Best of the Best” Luxury Retailers are: (LCEI score out of 10) 

--  Bergdorf Goodman - 8.23
--  Nordstrom - 8.15
--  Barneys - 7.91

“The economic recession and individual brand responses have generated quite a bit of movement in the rankings,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “For example, Barney’s, which had not been highly ranked in previous periods, has risen significantly due to a multi-year focus on improving customer experience. We have seen a tremendous interest in luxury brands seeking to dramatically redesign their customer experience, with a focus on both Luxury Cultural CRM initiatives and Analytic CRM projects working together to deliver measurably improved customer experiences.”

The proprietary Luxury Customer Experience Index (LCEI) survey is the only unbiased measure of true customer experiences of leading brands among wealthy and ultra-wealthy Americans. A national sample of 1,265 wealthy consumers was surveyed online in January 2010.

For Further Information, Please Contact:

The Luxury Institute, LLC
Martin Swanson
Business Development
(914) 909-6350
mswanson@luxuryinstitute.com

July 17, 2009

Survey: Nordstrom Top of High-End Retailers

Posted in LCEI,Retail

by FN Staff
Posted Friday July 17, 2009
From Footwear News

The Luxury Institute reported Thursday that Nordstrom department stores ranked first in its annual report of top-rated high-end retailers.

According to the results of its annual Luxury Customer Experience Index, Neiman Marcus was rated second and Brooks Brothers rated third among wealthy consumers who were polled online about such areas as satisfaction, personnel and store environment. Respondents had an average weighted net worth of $3.2 million.

“Luxury retail clients tell us they look for expertise and trust, along with lasting value, when they shop luxury, and Nordstrom delivers that even in a down economy,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “As the luxury retail industry finally sheds its ‘Industrial Age skin’ and adopts organic, customer-adaptive principles, we predict innovations from luxury leaders, such as independent customer advocates sitting on boards of directors, customer segment managers running the business and customer retention, customer referral and customer profitability … [becoming] the most critical metrics for the business.”

http://www.wwd.com/footwear-news/survey-nordstrom-top-of-high-end-retailers-2213898?gnewsid=b1f93d95d96c7257e33a29b209a7a9c5

July 16, 2009

Luxury Institute Survey:High Net-Worth Consumers Rank “Best of the Best” Luxury Retailer Customer Experience

(NEW YORK) July 16, 2009 – The Luxury Institute reported the top-rated luxury retailer brands in the 2009 Luxury Customer Experience Index (LCEI) survey, which identifies the top brands that deliver true luxury customer experiences in numerous categories based solely on the independently verified ratings of wealthy and ultra-wealthy consumers. 

High net-worth consumers who have been customers of the brand during the past 12 months rated Nordstrom the “Best of the Best” among eight major luxury retailers. Those who recommend Nordstrom say: 

  • “I like Nordstrom because they have the best shoe collection I have ever seen. They are so well organized and fairly priced. If I could, I would buy everything from there.” 
  • “Everyone in the store is committed to helping you, even if it is not in their direct department. Selection is great and quality is never an issue. If you have a problem, they take it back, no question.”  
  • “Their salespeople are really helpful and knowledgeable. I am buying their expertise more than anything else when I shop there.”

The LCEI asks high net-worth customers to rate luxury brands by category across three equally weighted and detailed rating components: Complete Satisfaction, Brand Personnel and Store Environment. The survey also measures Problems and Resolutions, Worthiness of a Significant Price Premium and Willingness to Recommend on the Part of Wealthy Customers. 

The “Best of the Best” Luxury Retailers are: (LCEI score out of 10)

  • o Nordstrom- 8.31
  • o Neiman Marcus- 7.78
  • o Brooks Brothers- 7.76

“Perhaps it is no accident that Nordstrom sales continue to outperform its competition in a bruised economic climate, since the brand is an example of a customer-adaptive 21st Century Luxury Enterprise,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “Luxury retail clients tell us they look for expertise and trust along with lasting value when they shop luxury, and Nordstrom delivers that even in a down economy. As the luxury retail industry finally sheds its Industrial Age skin and adopts organic, customer-adaptive principles, we predict innovations from luxury leaders such as Independent Customer Advocates sitting on Boards of Directors, Customer Segment Managers running the business, and Customer Retention, Customer Referral and Customer Profitability metrics taking their place as the most critical metrics for the business. ” 

The proprietary Luxury Customer Experience Index (LCEI) survey is the only unbiased measure of true customer experiences of leading brands among wealthy and ultra-wealthy Americans. A national sample of 1,505 wealthy consumers was surveyed online. Respondents have an average weighted gross annual household income of $325,000 and an average weighted net- worth of $3.2 million. Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net-worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from The Federal Reserve. 

About the Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research and consulting services that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the LuxuryBoard.com (www.LuxuryBoard.com), the world’s first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs.

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