Downward extensions fuel the continuous growth of the luxury sector and the introduction of product lines at accessible prices. Does this blur the traditional concept of luxury associated with expensiveness? Focusing on consumers’ perception of the minimum price for a luxury product in 21 categories and seven countries (n = 8376), an extreme dispersion across consumers occurs in terms of where luxury begins, with a large majority citing very low price frontiers. Also, each consumer provides consistent answers about the different categories. Such answers indicate that today expensiveness is a relative concept, as is luxury more generally. The degree of immersion in luxury and financial resources influences the luxury price frontier of each consumer. These results suggest a continuum from the “happy few” to the many less privileged. This extreme heterogeneity across consumers is good news for luxury groups. Such heterogeneity offers a large choice for development strategies from traditional luxury to the new luxury.
KAPFERER, J.N. et LAURENT, G. (2016). Where do consumers think luxury begins? A study of perceived minimum price for 21 luxury goods in 7 countries. Journal of Business Research, 69(1), pp. 332-340.