By: Rob Bates
Stores that sell watches and jewelry forge stronger relationships with customers than retailers of other luxury goods, says a new survey of affluent consumers by the Luxury Institute.
The survey found that 49 percent of affluent consumers have strong relationships with their watch retailers—the highest level for any category—and that 40 percent have similar relationships with jewelry sellers. Men’s ready-to-wear was third, followed by handbags and women’s ready-to-wear.
As to how jewelry sellers established relationships with consumers, the largest number of respondents (37 percent) said the jewelers “made them feel comfortable.” Some 35 percent said the retailer “demonstrated they were an expert,” and 30 percent said “they were not too pushy or overbearing.”
These relationships pay off: Two-thirds of respondents who have relationships with specific sales professionals at jewelry brands say they purchase more as a result.
Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, tells JCK that, as impressive as these numbers are, they should be higher, noting the importance of relationships to upper-income consumers.
“There is no reason that we shouldn’t cultivate a much higher level for relationship building,” he says. “In the luxury industry, they should be your jewelers for life.”
The survey queried U.S. consumers with at least $5 million in assets and $200,000 in annual income.