Monday, January 16, 2006

Life-changing experiences are key to luxury market

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer spending on luxury goods rose 3.8 percent last year, and is poised to grow more in 2006 as middle-income shoppers opt for high-class brands and wealthy consumers turn to luxury experiences, retail experts said on Sunday.

Speaking at the National Retail Federation's annual convention in New York, Unity Marketing President Pam Danziger said the average amount spent by an affluent household -- one whose annual income exceeds $75,000 -- rose to $52,588 in 2005 from $50,640 in 2004.

Spending on luxury experiences, including travel, dining, entertainment, spas and beauty services and home services, nearly doubled from an average of $11,632 in 2004 to $22,746 in 2005.

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