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Luxury spending decelerates as US consumers focus on savings and travel

The news: Affluent consumers in the US have increased their focus on travel and savings rather than buying luxury goods, per the Saks Luxury Pulse.

  • The share of luxury shoppers who plan to spend the same or more on luxury goods fell 9 percentage points between January and late April, dropping from 62% to 53%.
  • The slowdown in spending plans was even more pronounced among affluent consumers. Fifty-seven percent of respondents with an income of at least $200,000 plan to spend the same or more on luxury in the next three months, down from 68% in January.

The deceleration stems in part from consumers’ shifting priorities amid an uncertain economic environment. Eight-two percent of respondents plan to save the same or more in the next three months compared with the last three months, and 71% plan to spend the same or more on travel.

Why it matters: While personal luxury sales have been remarkably resilient, several companies recently noted slowdowns in the US market.

  • The most notable of those companies was Kering—parent of Gucci and Balenciaga—which reported its North America sales fell 18%.

The big takeaway: Luxury shoppers aren’t entirely immune to economic headwinds. The macroeconomic environment is pushing the US luxury goods market back to its historical growth patterns after multiple atypical years stemming from the pandemic.

First Published on Jun 1, 2023