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By: Martha C. White
NBC News
March 15, 2014

The $26.7 billion in bonuses that Wall Street hauled in last year will help fill city and state tax coffers, and certainly boost retailers when bankers sport Patek Phillipe wristwatches and slip into Maseratis. But all that green is a double-edged sword for New York City.

Wall Street bonuses grew by 15 percent in 2013, to an average of $164,530, according to the New York State Comptroller’s office. Milton Pedraza, CEO of research firm the Luxury Institute, estimated that Wall Streeters spend between half and three-quarters of their bonuses, then save or invest the rest, and about half the amount they spend is funneled into the local economy.

Because they spend an incredible amount of money in their jobs, “I think that spills over in their personal life,” said David Friedman, president of research and consulting company Wealth-X.

Click the link to read the entire article: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/wall-street-shares-wealth-better-or-worse-n53071

(NEW YORK) March 10, 2014 – For the past two decades, casinos at top gambling resort destinations in the United States have expanded on a grand scale and competed aggressively to attract high-end travelers. To find out how these casinos are currently perceived by wealthy consumers, the New York-based Luxury Institute surveyed men and women 21 and older with a minimum household income of $150,000 to gather detailed opinions and ratings of top casino resorts in three major U.S. gambling destinations:

Las Vegas: ARIA, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Cosmopolitan, Encore, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, Palazzo, Venetian, and Wynn Las Vegas

Atlantic City: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Caesars Atlantic City, Golden Nugget, Harrah’s Resort, Revel Casino Hotel, and Trump Taj Mahal

Connecticut: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun

Results from this 2014 Luxury Brands Status Index (LBSI) include an overall ranking of each property given eight attributes of status related specifically to casinos: luxurious guest rooms, superior service staff, unique dining options, attractive gaming floors, lavish pool areas, clubs, appealing entertainment, and desirable retail stores.

Wealthy travelers also assess each property’s worthiness of a significant price premium, and whether or not they would recommend it to family, friends and business associates.

Results show significantly higher LBSI scores for Las Vegas casinos compared to East Coast properties. One notable exception is the Borgata in Atlantic City.

“Even as more cities in the United States start to open casinos, Las Vegas is clearly still the leading destination for luxury properties, especially for affluent travelers,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “All elements of the casino, not just the gaming floors, are now crucial to create unique customer experiences.”

Respondents have average income of $370,000 and average net worth of $3.1 million.

Please visit us at www.LuxuryInstitute.com and Contact Us with any questions or for more information about specific brand rankings.

About the Luxury Institute (www.luxuryinstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers globally about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Customer Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates LuxuryBoard.com, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

By: Lauren Milligan
Vogue.com
March 5, 2014

IT’S not just the recession and higher property and living costs that’s making you think it, the price of luxury goods is actually rising. The Wall Street Journal reports that the price of a quilted Chanel bag has on average risen by 70 per cent in the past five years, while Louis Vuitton’s classic Speedy bag is 32 per cent more expensive in America than it was in 2009.

There are several theories behind the increases – which represent a general trend across the luxury goods industry, including watches and jewellery. Some say the prices are intended to help customers differentiate between the high-end brands and their increasingly popular mid-market competitors.

“The more Tory Burches and Michael Kors there are, the more the Chanels and Louis Vuittons will try to price up,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive of the Luxury Institute, told the WSJ. Others explained that the price increases, although far outpacing inflation, were unavoidable in order to maintain quality – thanks to rising production costs.

Click the link to read the entire article: http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2014/03/05/price-increases-for-luxury-items—chanel-louis-vuitton-bags

Artisans have a nose for fresh alternatives to mass-market fragrances.

By: Cara S. Trager
Crain’s New York Business
March 4, 2014

Tucked away in a TriBeCa basement, behind a sliding glass door, is a by-appointment-only custom—fragrance studio, elegantly decorated with antique furnishings, floral pictures and South African artifacts.

It’s all part of Sue Phillips’ strategy to infuse her one-of-a-kind fragrance shop, Scenterprises Ltd., with an air of exclusivity. And inside the 350-square-foot space, Ms. Phillips reinforces that mystique as she helps patrons discover their olfactory preferences and then blends fragrant drops from assorted small bottles to create scents just for them.

Private one-hour consultations run $350 per person and include a half-ounce bottle of handmade, personal perfume. Refills run $85 for a half-ounce.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes several quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140304/SMALLBIZ/303029994/niche-perfumers-sniff-opportunity

Sales Growth Slows as Competition Heats Up; ‘Prices Have Gotten Really Crazy’

By Suzanne Kapner and Christina Passariello
Wall Street Journal
March 2, 2014

Despite expanding into new markets, the luxury-retail business has been relying on price increases to drive sales. Now, even the very wealthy are nearing the limits of what they are willing to spend.

In the past five years, the price of a Chanel quilted handbag has increased 70% to $4,900. Cartier’s Trinity gold bracelet now sells for $16,300, 48% more than in 2009. And the price of Piaget’s ultrathin Altiplano watch is now $19,000, up $6,000 from 2011.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes a quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304585004579415110604829016?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304585004579415110604829016.html

 


Buying into bling

February 28th, 2014

By Daina Lawrence
Special to The Globe and Mail
February 27, 2014

Affluent individuals around the world bucked the depressed market norms of the last few years and managed to keep the luxury goods market bustling by investing in alternatives such as art, wine and supercars.

Companies such as Hermès SA, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA are gaining new customers daily, with 10 million new buyers wading into the market each year.

Many of these companies have given good news to shareholders recently, including luxury goods dynamo Michael Kors – known for its footwear, watches and clothing – whose shares soared 17.3 per cent to $89.91 (U.S.) in early February, after the company’s report of higher-than-expected profits.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/buying-into-bling/article17132730/

By Brian X. Chen
New York Times
February 26, 2014

BARCELONA, Spain — Smartphones are going against one of the long-held rules in portable electronics, that smaller is better.

Year by year, computers, storage devices and music players have shed size and weight. And for decades, it has been happening with cellphones, too.

But now cellphones, and smartphones in particular, are going the way of the television: They just keep getting bigger and bigger. And people keep buying them.

The trend became even more apparent this week, as handset makers introduced a number of big-screen smartphones — from five diagonal inches to more than seven inches — at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes a quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/27/technology/handset-makers-go-big-on-smartphones.html?hpw&rref=fashion

By Piya Sinha-Roy
Reuters
February 23, 2014

When Jennifer Lawrence tripped on her way to accept her best actress Oscar last year, her blush pink princess-like Dior Haute Couture gown was captured in all its glory as the unscripted moment made ripples around the world.

That bonus air-time for a single dress at one of the world’s premier global events is priceless for the likes of Dior, one of the strongest fashion houses in the cutthroat marketplace that the Oscars red carpet is today.

Success on the red carpet can buy cachet that no advertising can – both for designers and stars – and profits for luxury brands for years to come. With stakes that high, the more established houses are raising their game and leaving little room for newcomers to make a splash, like they might have a decade ago.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/23/oscars-fashion-idUSL2N0LQ0IY20140223

By Joe McCarthy
Luxury Daily
February 21, 2013

Italian automaker Lamborghini is continuing efforts to expand its work force and improve the labor environment following its reception of the Top Employers Italia 2014 Certification.

After a year-long evaluation process, the Top Employers Institute awarded Lamborghini the award for its “excellent workplace environments and advanced policies for human resource management.” Recognition as a generous employer may endear the brand to new consumers who appreciate sound business models.

“It’s an award much like quality certification that they had to work for,” said Charles Hughes, founder of Brand Rules, Snowmass, CO. “They really put you through the hoops. It shows an effort and an interest.

“Teams that keep winning awards in all different places feel very good about themselves,” he said.

“Also, if you are working at Lamborghini and you know that this car is someone’s dream, you want to believe that you’re part of that dream, not part of a sweatshop, and that changes everyone’s attitude about working there.”

Mr. Hughes is not affiliated with Lamborghini, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Lamborghini did not respond by press deadline.

Sound model
The institute looked at five criteria during its evaluation: salary policies, working conditions and benefits, training and professional growth, career opportunities and corporate culture.

Lamborghini has built a welfare system that encompasses employee life both inside and outside the work environment to ensure well-being and motivation.

Attractive salaries and increases linked to tangible measures are available. An apprenticeship program helps to guide citizens into the workforce with compensation that exceeds Italian requirements.

The institute commended the brand’s training practices that continue to develop individual skill with culminating programs and international job rotation.

Labor unions receive respect and engage in “transparent” dialogue with management, according to the award statement.

Some welfare programs include health insurance, free check-ups and vaccinations and special terms at local nursery schools. Employees are given special access to sports facilities, businesses and cultural activities and discounts on VW Group vehicles. New parents are also provided with extensive paid leave.

Food service at the headquarters meets dietary restrictions and sources local fruit and vegetables.

The brand was the first Italian company to receive the Italian president’s award during the National Forum on Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Work stations are regularly updated to meet safety and health standards and new technologies for preventing risks have been incorporated.

The automaker has hired 300 employees since 2011 to reach a total of 1,029 at its Sant’Agata Bolognese headquarters. The majority of the posts have been in the industrial and research and development fields and 30 percent of new hires during this period have been women.

Additional hires will be made this years as the brand gears itself for human resource investment.

From the ground up
Other luxury brands have shown a commitment to elevating employee satisfaction and productivity.

For instance, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton looked to better serve its Mandarin-speaking consumers traveling abroad with a new training program for Chinese Americans.

The French conglomerate teamed up with Parsons the New School for Design and the Chinese-American Planning Council to design a program to teach recently immigrated Chinese Americans luxury retail skills, which includes an internship at a LVMH brand store. Through this program, LVMH will be able to connect with Chinese tourists in their native language and deliver enhanced customer service.

Also, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars opened up its annual apprenticeship program to welcome a new group of aspiring craftsmen and women.

Selected candidates will work alongside employees skilled in leather, wood, paint, engineering and assembly roles beginning August 2014. The brand’s ability to replenish its apprenticeship program acts as a tangible verification of its strong sales numbers and paints the automaker in a favorable light amid a still straggling economy.

Lamborghini’s employment award affirms the quality of its employee culture, and may also appeal to consumers abroad who investigate the roots of what they purchase.

“Today consumers are not just looking for products, but also for great corporate social responsibility and the credentials that drive it,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute, New York.

“In a country like Italy where employees are generally treated great, the award is a big deal,” he said. “It’s a big deal to consumers around the world and particularly in the United States and Europe, where they really believe in corporate social responsibility.

“As emerging market consumers become more sophisticated and demanding, they will view this reward as extremely important while making purchasing decisions. Employees are also your customers, so they have to be treated as the brand would treat clients.”

http://www.luxurydaily.com/lamborghini-gains-top-employer-award-continues-improvement-efforts/

By Joe McCarthy
Luxury Daily
February 18, 2013

Jaguar Land Rover North America is targeting New York subway commuters with train takeover promotions for its Good to be Bad campaign.

The Good to be Bad campaign officially debuted during the Super Bowl Feb. 2, which makes it safe to assume that many of the commuters will recognize the slogan. Since one of the chief aims of the multichannel effort is to reposition the brand’s image, the venue will serve the purpose of attracting and holding the attention of significant numbers of consumers.

“As a general concept I would say that some of Jaguar’s target market goes on the subway, so I don’t think it’s illegitimate, but I do think that there are probably better places to spend your money,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, New York.

“Unless they just wanted to have us talk about the campaign, which we’re doing, then in that sense it becomes the antithesis of what someone might expect,” he said.

“When you get consumers to talk about the benefits of the brand, then you’re talking about relevant and reliable and positive awareness. When you just create a mild controversy, you’re going to get a mixed crowd.”

Mr. Pedraza is not affiliated with Jaguar, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Jaguar did not respond by press deadline.

Step inside
New York’s F Train travels from deep in Queens through Manhattan and down to Coney Island, Brooklyn. The F Train travels through the third busiest subway stop, Herald Square 34th Street, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Another attractive aspect of the F train for marketers is that it spends much of its time above ground.

The E train also experienced a Jaguar makeover, and this train travels through Times Square, the busiest stop in the system.

Overall, New York has the seventh busiest subway system in the world with an annual ridership of 1.665 billion.

What this means is that colossal amounts of people will see Jaguar’s promotion and perfunctorily register the message, especially since, in comparison, the other train exteriors will be far less spiffy.

However, the percentage of commuters who will be moved to buy a Jaguar is likely insignificant.

The brand’s intention may be to change the public’s perception rather than stimulate sales.

The “Good to be Bad” campaign centers on the idea that “British Villains” dominate Hollywood.

Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleton and Mark Strong were tapped to play villains that muse on what makes British actors so attractive for villainous role. The subtext of the television spot is that the only car suited for these figures is the new F-Type.

Jaguar will likely extend this campaign for several months.

We will be moving shortly
Although it is hard to measure the direct impact of out of home advertising on sales, the medium attracts attention if positioned effectively.

Other luxury brands regularly turn to heavily trafficked transportation venues for outdoor advertising.

For instance, Swiss watchmaker Breguet took over the departures concourse of Geneva International Airport with an exhibit featuring its high-tech watches, the Type XXII 3880 and the Classique Chronométrie 7727.

Breguet’s exhibit, which ran in January, focused on the brand’s technical innovation in watch design and manufacturing along with the brand’s history with aviation. This exhibit drew attention because of its size, and Breguet was able to increase brand awareness among travelers, who are a captive audience.

Also, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton eyed affluent travelers by placing brand advertisements on large digital screens at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The screens displayed images from a number of LVMH brands including Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Hennessy, Parfums Givenchy and Louis Vuitton.

Since the general reaction to an outdoor ad is unpredictable, brands must ensure that they unequivocally reflect key values.

“Usually, what I like to do is to create a campaign that talks about the benefits of the campaign,” Mr. Pedraza said.

http://www.luxurydaily.com/jaguar-takes-over-new-york-subway-trains-with-good-to-be-bad-promotion/

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