Whiling away some time reading the fashion section of the Wall Street Journal. This became a habit during the terrible two years (and counting) of the financial meltdown. I kept trying to learn what was happening by reading the WSJ, and found myself reading their fashion section because I couldn't bear to read the real financial news. Whatever.
Yesterday's article was about how luxury retailers are trying to give the customer good value. I guess that's kind of related to my frugal theme: after all, value and cost are not necessarily in synch, either at the high end or low end of the retail continuum. And I'm always asserting (whining?) that true frugality is about good value, not necessarily low prices.
I was struck by the definition of the luxury shopper:
Luxury retailers cater to a fairly narrow group of shoppers. Women that Bain & Co. and Vogue magazine call "established spenders" make up just 16% of the U.S. population but shell out around $3,500 a year on apparel, accessories and beauty, about four times the average consumer. Those women include fashion mavens and wealthy professionals, the study says.
Anais Aiken, a 40-year-old mother of two who lives in Dallas, wears designer brands regularly and follows trends from the catwalk. She recently purchased a runway look from 3.1 Phillip Lim, a cream chiffon ruffled evening coat and an asymmetrical dress, spending she thinks "around $2,500."
Readers: do you accept these numbers? Does the average woman spend only about $900.00/year on apparel, accessories, and beauty? I am an average woman, but if not for my blissed-out forays to an excellent Goodwill, and my practice of coloring my own hair, and the luckiness of having a daughter who can give me good haircuts, I would be way over the average number.
And I can hardly accept that the high-end shopper spends only $3500.00.
My mother, for example, middle-class all the way, spends around $1000/year just at the hair salon--and that's in relatively low-cost Florida. That doesn't even count her shopping addiction, which manifests itself in frequent trips to Chico's and elsewhere.
So Fashionistas and Frugalistas: what think you of those numbers?