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Ah, the life of luxury!

Amy Campbell

July 23, 2007

2 Min Read
Ah, the life of luxury!

[A guest blog spot by ISS Managing Editor Drew Whitney.]


I just received a press release announcing a new study has determined that luxury consumers around the world are very similar, and that they place more emphasis on experiences rather than material goods. The findings were released by the Consumer Research Center of The Conference Board, sponsored by Conde Nast Publications, Gucci Group, Gibson USA, The Ritz Carlton and True Vue. It' based on an online survey of 1,800 affluent people around the world, all over 18 years old and in the top-25 percent income bracket.

According to this report, most luxury consumers say they are not into over-consumption of material wealth, and they are not buying pricy items to impress anyone. Its more about how a person experiences his stuff that matters.

If youre confused by all of this, dont feel alone. Ive read this two-page-plus document a couple times and Im still coming up short of an understanding. Im thinking wealthy people like to portray themselves as the kind of folk who like to stop and smell the roses. Of course, if they own a garden the size of a football field, tended by a dozen professional gardener/landscapers, the roses smell that much sweeter.

The study hints that people dont care about all the stuff they own but lets get real. Americans, especially, take huge joy in amassing mountains of stuff, and dont we all know it?
As Morgan Stanley notes, "Over the 1996 to 2004 period, annual growth in U.S. personal consumption expenditures averaged 3.9 percentnearly double the 2.2 percent pace recorded elsewhere in the so-called advanced world."

Never has it been easier to buy everything and anything. Unless were facing an apocalypse, Im thinking consumption isnt about to change. For better or worse, we all like luxury and WE OWN IT.

Whats good for Americans is good for our economy and even better for our industry. Whether people care more about how they experience their lives than what they own may remain unknown, but until the mystery is solved, I think we all can rest assured that well continue living and acquiring plenty of stuff, luxuriously.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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