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Dana French

Affluent Consumers Are High on Quality Product

More than eight out of 10 affluent consumers want the furnishings within their home to be of high quality and 68% prefer an unplanned and eclectic design when decorating. That's according to high-end shoppers answering Furniture/Today and Apartment Therapy's 2013 survey. A furniture piece's functionality is the most important feature among wealthier buyers when purchasing new product.
     Affluent households are defined as those with incomes of $100,000 or more. Census Bureau data counts this group as nearly 24 million in number, or 21% of all households. Four out of 10 are two-earner households.
     Nine out of 10 affluent households buy home furnishings by the piece, per those answering the exclusive Furniture/Today survey. And, if given $1,000 to spend, three-fifths would invest in one, higher quality furniture piece rather than using the money to update one, entire room. Ninety-three percent would pay more for solid wood furniture.
     Many high-income buyers shop for the best deals. For a furniture piece costing $1,000 or more, 15% of affluent households would buy it within a week. Twenty-seven percent say they'd need a month to commit and 58% need more than a month before spending $1,000 or more.
     Nearly one out of 10 affluent consumers has hired an interior designer to decorate their home. Only 2% of those earning between $50,000 and $99,999 have used a designer and a mere 1% of those with incomes less than $50,000 have.
     Per Furniture/Today's 2013 Consumer Buying Trends Survey, the affluent accounted for 21% of all households buying furniture and bedding last year and 29% of the total dollars spent at retail, about $24.4 billion.
     The data further shows that affluent buyers typically spend two times more on furniture than the non-affluent. Last year, high-income buyers spent a median of $999 on master bedroom furniture, while non-affluent buyers spent a median of $499. On bedding, the affluent spent a median of $799 for a queen-sized mattress, compared with a median of $499 for those earning less than $100,000. And, with stationary sofas, affluent buyers spent a median of $975, while the non-affluent spent a median of $649.

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