Wealthy shoppers have become bargain hunters, and that’s hurting retailers like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks.
Shoppers at lower income levels have been hunting bargains for years. They started gravitating toward discount retailers like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Dollar Stores during the recession, and many never went back to shopping full price.
That’s had a crippling impact on full-price department stores like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears, which have been closing hundreds of stores in the face of falling traffic and sales.
Now, that habit is trickling up to America’s wealthiest shoppers, signaling trouble ahead for the US luxury market.
Wealthy shoppers are suddenly comparing prices between retailers on everything they buy, and their brand loyalty has plummeted.
Sales of personal luxury goods, such as designer clothing and accessories, fell 1% last year, marking the first decline since 2009, according to Bain & Co data cited by The Wall Street Journal.
Neiman Marcus CEO Karen Katz commented on this trend late last year.
“There’s no question that our…