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The wealthy are revolutionising the luxury services industry

A new report published today by Barclays Wealth, entitled Insights: The True Value of Wealth, shows the wealthy are changing the luxury industry as they seek to buy-in services that enable them to save time and make their lives easier. Time is the ultimate luxury For many wealthy people, the biggest luxury is having more time. Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of all respondents believe their wealth has brought them more leisure time, while more than half of respondents believe that it has allowed them to spend more or better quality time with their family, the findings show. More often, wealth brings people greater opportunities for how they spend their time. However, respondents in the higher wealth brackets also are more likely to say that increased wealth has brought them more stress, according to the report. Buying time Avoiding stress and saving time is encouraging more wealthy individuals invest in services that help them make travel arrangements, select and purchase clothes and household goods, as well as cooking and cleaning services according to the report. More wealthy people plan to make greater use of time saving services such as private jets and personal shoppers. They also want more services brought into their homes, such as a fitness trainer. The use of private jets by the wealthy is also set to increase significantly around the world with over half of the respondents in the US and Canada (64 per cent), Italy (58 per cent), Singapore (56 per cent) and Portugal (51 per cent) planning to fly privately as they prefer this to first-class services on airlines. There is also a greater demand for personal shoppers, according to the findings. In the US and Canada, nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they plan make more use of this service to make their lives more simple. More than half of wealthy North Americans also want access to a personal chauffeur and personal concierge who can help them make the most of their busy days. Personal security is also becoming more important to wealthy individuals. Bodyguards are widely used by the wealthy in Continental Europe, led by France (85 per cent), Asia (Singapore 76 per cent), South Africa (73 per cent) and the Middle East (67 per cent), the report shows. The wealthy want experiences that money can’t buy As prosperity increases around the world, luxury products are becoming attainable to more people. Todays wealthy are now striving for more than luxury products, they want something that will enrich their lives and give them an experience that will last forever, according to the research. The luxury industry is adapting to this demand by offering products that people aspire to own and services that are unique to each client. “Being wealthy is about more than money – it enriches people’s life experiences,” says Mark Kibblewhite, Head of the UK Private Bank at Barclays Wealth. “It means that rather than simply taking a trip overseas, they can escape the madding crowd to find some serenity for their families. “But there is often a gap between the things that people want to do and the time they have available,” Mr. Kibblewhite says. “No matter how wealthy somebody is, there are still only 24 hours in a day.” Luxury companies are pushing boundaries to design a product or service that adds something to their client’s lifestyle. “It’s not just about bespoke, it’s also about creating a ‘wow’ factor - clients want something that is totally ‘out there’ in terms of design, something that no one else has,” says Nicholas Candy of interior designers and development managers Candy & Candy, who was part of the Insights panel for the report. “We get to know our clients well and become so close that we often recommend everything to them, from bespoke luggage for their private jets and helicopters, to arranging an exclusive party for 100 people - a complete lifestyle.” (Please see accompanying case study.) The report is a global survey of 790 wealthy individuals[1], produced in partnership with the EIU that examines how wealthy individuals perceive and value wealth. It also considers the revolution in the luxury goods and services market as companies adapt their offerings to meet the demands of the wealthy. The report includes comments from a panel of experts drawn from academia, industry and financial circles who provide unique insights. - ENDS -
[1] With investable assets in excess of £100,000 (US$200,000)