Survey finds that 68% of these consumers have regularly decided against buying a luxury item because of environmental concerns, versus 35% of all respondents

New research by the Financial Times and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising reveals the changing purchase drivers and transactional trends of the luxury goods market and the attitudes towards it post-pandemic.

Most strikingly, the ‘New Shape of Luxury’ report identifies an essential group of luxury consumers for the industry’s future, ‘the New Guard’, which is among seven audience profiles, segmented according to their beliefs, claimed behaviour and demographics. This approach intends to help brands and marketers as they develop strategies and communication approaches.

As the youngest age profile – 40% of the New Guard are under-35 – these consumers’ contrasting values, buying behaviours and perspectives of the luxury market present new challenges for brands.

Symbolising their fresh perspective on what owning luxury brands means to them, the most commonly used words by survey respondents in this segment were: confident, extravagant, attractive, discerning and pleasure.

These New Guard buyers are:

  • Just as likely to buy experiences as well as goods: 64% agree luxury experiences create more memories than luxury goods, versus 57% of all respondents.
  • More likely to buy online: 62% have bought luxury items online that they have not seen in a brick and mortar shop, versus  57% of the total survey.

Finally, sustainability is highly important to the New Guard:

  • 68% have regularly decided against buying a luxury item because of environmental concerns, versus 35% of the total survey population.
  • They are more enthusiastic about the second-hand market: 18% strongly agree 'I sometimes buy second hand luxury goods', versus 10% of all respondents.
  • 80% of all respondents were interested in repair.

The New Shape of Luxury report has been published in acknowledgement of the growing value of the sector, with spend figures on personal luxury goods predicted to reach €283bn for 2021, up from €281bn in 2019, and forecast to rise dramatically to €360-380bn by 2025 (Bain & Co). 

The findings are both quantitative and qualitative and are derived from a global survey of FT readers and insights from interviews with luxury brand executives, academics and leading industry commentators. Areas examined include audience segmentation, buying behaviour, brand power, and attitudes towards ESG and sustainability.


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About the Financial Times

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of 1.2 million, more than one million of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.