Luxury-Goods Market Seems To Know No Bounds - Perception is Everything In Local Market, says Limousine Service CEO

The market for luxury goods and services is expanding to include people with income levels that previously prevented penetration here. TriStarLimo of New York and Miami is part of a growing list of providers of luxury items that more and more consumers, seemingly regardless of their income level, choose to bring into their lives.

Miami, FL (PRWEB) June 17, 2005 -- While social commentators point to a widening gap between the rich and the poor, between the haves and the have-nots, the market for luxury goods and services is bridging that gap.

“People want very nice things, and they’re willing to do without what has traditionally been seen as ‘necessities’ to have them,” says Jane Harris, Miami vice president of TriStarLimo, a five-year-old company headquartered in New York. “In the luxury market, lifestyle is everything. While there may be a growing income gap within the nation’s population, we’re seeing a proportionate narrowing of it in terms of the lifestyles people are choosing to live.”

Following a recent launch of her company’s limousine service in Miami, Harris says south Florida is one of the more luxury-oriented regions in the U.S., a key factor in Tri-Star’s decision to expand there.

“Miami consumers of all income levels want quality, but many also seek a level of luxury in products and services once available only to the ‘rich and famous’,” Harris says, adding that Tri-Star’s customers come from all income levels – “from top executives with money to spend to college students looking for a break from the mundane. If a company can find a unique niche and brand itself accordingly, it can succeed in this ever-widening, luxury-driven market.”

Of course the luxury-spending trend encompasses a market far bigger than limousines and other top-end travel. Fay Hansen, writing in the Dec. 2004 issue of Business Finance, notices an emerging spending pattern across numerous categories among the 48 million middle-class households in the United States – that of “trading up” in luxury items and “trading down” in items they see as less important.

“Driven by this phenomenon,” Hansen says, “luxury-brand spending is one of the few areas of consumer spending that have flourished in all phases of the most recent business cycle.”

Hansen notes luxury sales growth in categories as diverse as housing and furnishings, clothing, travel, cars, restaurant dining, and personal care products and services. Harris points out that industries such as jewelry, catering, photography, spas and salons, wedding planning and – especially in the Miami area – everything related to hotels and resorts can also put down stakes in the luxury arena.

The trend has been growing for years. Back in 1999, in an article in The Washington Post, Robert Frank opined that “we are in the grip of a luxury fever that rivals the spectacular excesses of the Gilded Age of a century ago.”

Frank, the author of Luxury Fever: Why money fails to satisfy in an era of excess (New York: The Free Press, 1999), continued: “But unlike that earlier period, which was dominated by a small number of families with enormous wealth, our current consumption boom involves a vastly larger number of people all along the economic spectrum.”

As for Harris of TriStarLimo, she believes that the same right practices apply, whether you’re selling a $39.95 rental car or a $500 night out in a sleek limousine.

“The bottom line of luxury is service – without it, no kind of product is going to be worth much,” Harris says. “We never want to forget that first-class service has been the driver behind the luxury market that‘s growing all around us. At the end of the day, it’s what people are buying.”

Editor’s note:
Since 2000, TriStarLimo has provided luxury transportation with a fleet of more than 140 brand new vehicles to both corporate and individual clients. The company has served some 7,000 wedding clients and 5,000 prom clients in the New York area before opening in Miami on June 1, 2005. Contact in Miami: 6800 SW 40th St. Suite 684, Miami, Fl 33155. (866) 520-5466. In New York: 1636 3rd Ave. Suite 274, New York, NY 10029. (212) 427-7827.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/6/prweb251740.htm