Friday, February 27, 2015

Richey Rich USA – Part II

Earlier in the week I posted Richey Rich USA –Part I.  Specifically, I provided an overview about the new generation of millionaires and how luxury retailers were gearing up for them.  Today I have decided to post more detail about some of the particulars of luxury spending.   

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I enjoy statistics, so detailed below are some additional Richey Rich facts:

·        More than $25.5 billion was spent on luxury goods last year in Manhattan (Bain) making it the largest luxury market with Japan second at $20.4 billion.

·       Fashion brands are capitalizing on the robust growth of the Richey Rich in the USA by opening new spacious, luxurious stores.  The brand Yves Saint Laurent reported an increase of 12 percent in North America sales during their past fiscal year.

·      Other major luxury items experiencing a jump in sales are the spirits category driven by high-end bourbon and no surprise, luxury automobiles.  BMW (a.k.a. Beamers) announced they are spending over $4 billion to expand its South Carolina manufacturing facility and upgrade their dealerships.

While I was in the midst of writing this week’s posts, I read a news flash worthy of mentioning.  Shane Smith, CEO of Vice Media Inc. was reported to have spent $300,000 for an industry dinner party (30 people) at the Prime Steakhouse in Las Vegas this past January that included some bottles of wine that cost more than $20,000.

$300,000 for dinner!  Richey Rich USA!  Billionaires are the new millionaires. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Richey Rich USA – Part I

Over the years I have been monitoring the luxury goods market.  It is time for an update, especially as it pertains to Richey Rich USA!

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America’s share of the ultra rich is exhibiting robust growth in comparison to Europe and emerging markets.  A quick look at the numbers:

·         America added 1.6 million millionaires last year compared to China (in the number two slot) adding 90,000.

·         In 2014, Americans with net worth of $50 million outnumbered their Chinese counterparts eight to one.

·         Luxury spending in the United States totaled $73 billion in 2014, a 5 percent growth over the previous year.  Note: China and Russia exhibited negative growth and the above luxury retail spending figure was still higher than the next four countries combined – in billions, Japan ($20.4), Italy ($18.2), France ($17.3) and China ($16.9).

What are some of the contributing factors?  For starters, a whole new generation of 30 and 40 year olds making money on technology, hedge funds and real estate.  Add in a new wave of wealthy immigrants.  Consequently, luxury retailers are gearing up by building spacious, opulent stores on both coasts as well as in cities like Dallas and Houston which have experienced growth of high-net-worth individuals of 20 and 18 percent respectively.  What do I mean by spacious, opulent stores?  Next time you are in Los Angeles stop by Yves Saint Laurent’s 10,000 square foot flagship store on Rodeo Drive complete with white marble floors and polished brass.  Of course, you will have to go in the front door, not the exclusive, back-alley entrance reserved for celebrities.

Richey Rich USA!  Billionaires are the new millionaires. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Perseverance: A Great Story!

Perseverance is all about being steadfast, persisting in an endeavor in spite of opposition, discouragement.  Congratulations to Victor Estrella Burgos for personifying  the value of perseverance last Sunday. 

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Who is Victor Estrella Burgos?  He is Dominican Republic’s Athlete of the Year, a tennis player in a country (population of 10.4 million) known for producing great baseball players.  On Sunday he won his first ATP World Singles Title in a tournament held in Ecuador. What made it truly remarkable?  Victor is 34, thus he became the oldest first time titlist in the history of Open Era Tennis. 

At age 26 (in 2006) he came back to the sport after dropping out.  During the 2012 Davis Cup he seriously injured his elbow.  Regardless, he continued to chase his dream of cracking the top 100 and ended up becoming the oldest player in history of the sport to debut last year in the U.S. Open.  In addition to collecting a nice paycheck Sunday, Victor is now ranked number 52 in the world.  Imagine being the 52nd best of your profession in the world.  Go Victor!   

Perseverance and great stories!  That’s life! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

National Pizza Day

Last week while I was online, I learned that today (February 9th) is National Pizza Day.  Immediately I visualized all the pizza boxes piled high by the trash bins in the basement of my building.  To celebrate today’s holiday, I would like to share some pizza consumption statistics in America.

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One year ago the Department of Agriculture published a report detailing Americans consumption of pizza.  Below are some of the reports highlights:

·         Approximately one in eight Americans eat pizza in any given day.  Males tend to eat more pizza than females in just about every age group. More than one-quarter of males between the ages of 6 and 19 consume pizza every day.

·         Americans spend an estimated $37 billion a year on pizza – a third of the global pizza market.

·         Pizza for adults is predominately eaten at dinner, while 58% of pizza consumption for teens and under is for lunches, snacking and breakfasts (e.g., “Bagel Bites”).

·         The number of calories an adult consumes in a typical pizza eating session is 744.  Note: A McDonald’s Double Quarter-Pounder with Cheese is 750 calories. 

Will you be celebrating National Pizza Day tonight? 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sommeliers Go Yachting

Club Med was the forerunner of exotic vacations.  Exotic travel has now advanced into everything from trips to the Gal├ípagos Islands, B&B treehouses in rainforests, package deals to an indoor ski resort (Ski Dubai), personal health & wellness retreats, etc.  What is next?  
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My query: What is driving the increasing demand for exotic vacations?  Extra disposable income?  The driving need to unplug?  “Show & Tell” – look at me; can you top this? 

Top this!  Cruise from Puerto Rico to Spain and experience a 12-day wine education program conducted by the SeaDream Yacht Club.  Program participants receive two daily lectures about wines from all over the world, complete with tastings (more than 100 varietals) and dinners.  The package deal also includes visiting a winery in Madeira at the completion of your voyage.  Other cruise lines are now beginning to offer similar packages (e.g., Cunard).      

Is this the ultimate exotic vacation?  More importantly, are you ready to escape and become a sommelier yachtsperson?