Nordstrom Ranks First Among Luxury Shoppers

Nordstom received the highest satisfaction rank from affluent U.S. shoppers who earn at least $150,000 annually, edging out other luxury retailers such as Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman. The New York-based Luxury Institute revealed the results of its 2012 Luxury Consumer Experience Index survey, in which scores are based on customers' evaluations of a brand's store personnel, shopping environment and degree of satisfaction with the total experience.

Nordstrom earns the top overall score of 8.41 out of 10, followed by Neiman Marcus' Bergdorf Goodman subsidiary (8.37), and Barneys New York (8.23). It is also the most widely visited luxury retailer, with 36 percent of wealthy consumers reporting shopping at Nordstrom in the past 12 months.

Only 7 percent of shoppers have visited Barneys, and 6 percent have shopped at Bergdorf Goodman, but exclusivity helps with pricing: 76 percent of Bergdorf's shoppers and 74 percent of Barneys' say that goods in those stores are worth a significant price premium; 65 percent say the same about Nordstrom's merchandise.

"Retailers, especially in luxury, are selling experiences to customers more than they are selling any particular good," says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. "In the case of a retailer like Nordstrom, we see that a program of continuous improvement in the customer experience can lead to higher degrees of loyalty and improved financial performance."

In addition to its top overall LCEI score, Seattle-based Nordstrom ranks first on two critical measures of customer loyalty: 96 percent of high-income shoppers plan to shop at Nordstrom again, and 94 percent recommend Nordstrom to family and close friends.

Survey participants reported average income of $292,000 and average net worth of $3 million.
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