What Makes Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales Shoppers Unique? Looking Beyond the Luxury Label

When you think of luxury department stores, many likely come to mind. We whittled down the long list and honed in on three upscale retailers. We discovered some surprising differences in the product preferences and personal values of these customers. While Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue sell many of the same brands and products in their stores, their shoppers don’t share a “one size fits all” customer profile.

Resonate has the largest proprietary understanding of over 200 million U.S. adult consumers across 12,000 attributes. Our deep, person-level insights revealed several clear differences in what matters to the customers of these three luxury retailers:

  • While shoppers at all three stores value fast and responsive staff and enjoyable and clean stores, Saks Fifth Avenue customers don’t care as much about loyalty programs.
  • Convenient locations matter to customers of Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue but not to those of Neiman Marcus.

As you’ll see below, most shoppers are married women with kids under 18. Ready to learn more about who these people are and how to connect with them more effectively?  Here’s a quick demographic snapshot:

What does this mean for marketers? The personal values and psychological drivers that guide a consumer’s decisions is incredibly helpful in making stronger connections. In the case of the Bloomingdale shopper, focus on themes of living an exciting life and the freedom to be creative when developing your messaging and creative. Since they’re all about creativity and tackling challenges, consider launching a social media contest where they submit content in order to win a discount or offer at the store.

Creative messaging to the Neiman Marcus shopper should revolve around acquiring wealth and influence and creativity. Since they value showing off their abilities and being admired, personalize communication or provide a thank-you gift acknowledging them for their loyalty to the store after meeting a specific spending threshold.

For the Saks shopper, focus on themes of being in charge, being admired and acquiring influence when curating your creative and messaging. Giving these customers more autonomy and choice over how they spend their rewards or use their discount will resonate well with them.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what makes these luxury retail shoppers unique in terms of purchase drivers and product preferences.

Both Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue shoppers prefer companies that treat their employees well, so make it a point to highlight employee of the month or special training they go through. Bloomingdales customers care more about safe products.

Their media consumption is also important to understand when trying to determine the best places to reach them.




All three shoppers watch HBO regularly. Bloomingdales customers also tune into Showtime, while Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus shoppers watch Hulu. Consider product placements or advertising across these streaming services to effectively connect with these shoppers. All customers spend anywhere from 20-40 hours a week online and read O, The Oprah Magazine and Family Circle. The computer is also the primary device they all use to watch TV, so focus your marketing efforts on that device specifically.

It’s time for luxury retailers to get to know their customers on a deeper, emotional level. The ever-changing market economy now demands it. Digging into what makes these wealthy shoppers unique as humans will help inform messaging, targeting, product offers and development that will better serve them in the future. If luxury department stores adjust to the changing wants and needs of their shoppers, then they have a good chance of reversing the current sales trends.

Resonate is here to help you better understand, target, reach, engage and convert target consumer audiences by revealing a 360-degree of today’s consumer at the individual level. Understanding their underlying motivations and values that drive their everyday decisions to buy or support certain brands and retailers allows you to create more resonant messaging and creative. We’re ready to help you understand the “why” behind your customers so that you can better influence their purchasing behavior.

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