According to a new report by the law firm Trowers & Hamlins, FLASH (Feeling Low and Spending High) consumers have already driven strong performance of luxury brands.
Based on an analysis of investment activity in the hotel and leisure sector, the report notes that consumers are reappraising luxury and are increasingly opting for quality over quantity.
The findings suggest that the UK hotel sector should focus on “strategic investment in attainable luxury” in order to tap into this new consumer set.
Long tail impact
“FLASH consumers are driving a new trend in the hotel industry,” said Michael Pattinson, corporate partner and head of the firm's hotel and leisure practice in London.
“Their high spending is relative – in actual fact their overall spend on hotel stays or travel is likely to be reduced by consolidating it – but the impact of these consumers on the hotel industry in recent years is considerable.”
The paper, Attainable Luxury: saving to spend in an Age of Austerity, analyses current and future investment habits in the UK’s leading hotel groups.
Together with an assessment of Trowers & Hamlins’ own transaction data and legal trends insight, the findings help identify common commercial drivers influencing the sector and areas of potential future growth.
“Now is the time to make the changes necessary to compete in the luxury market. Far from a nice-to-have, keeping up with the competitors in terms of perceived luxury is now essential for hotels to survive in this climate,” said Pattinson.
“Failure to invest in developing and maintaining the luxury aspect of your business will alienate this new brand of post-recession spender. Hotel owners must now explore the wider cost impact of a strategy of investment in luxury.”