Status-seeking shoppers are back!

The entry-level luxury market is showing signs of picking up, as consumers who aspire to be owners of high-end products are once again including luxury products on their shopping lists, CNBC reports.

Industry experts are seeing an increase in purchases of deluxe items from middle-class shoppers in 2013 than in prior years since the worldwide economic collapse of 2008. While the desire to shop like the elite “one-percent” is back, it is not occurring at the “warp-all credit cards” pace as it did previously. Consumers are buying slower and being more prudent.

The return of the aspiring market is also aided by luxury brands offering alternative lines of products to shoppers. The car industry is a good example with its offerings of less expensive, entry-level luxury lines, as seen by both Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

Consumers are trading up instead of burning through their cash and available credit.

….Before the recession, aspirational shoppers—often people with a household income of about $100,000—were responsible for a large chunk of consumer spending, Ben-Shabat said. But when the economy dropped off in 2008, they disappeared from shopping centers and online stores along with the rest of the population.

Read full article at