An exploratory study of consumers’ perceptions: What are affordable luxuries?

Juan Mundel, Patricia Huddleston, Michael Vodermeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Specialty media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Business Insider have increasingly featured articles that stress the growth of the affordable luxuries market. However, “affordable” and “luxury” are two terms that do not conform to luxury goods literature. While the concept of luxury has been traditionally associated with expensive, difficult to find, and exclusive products, the aforementioned business periodicals seem to suggest that a number of products such as specialty coffee, chocolate, and other commodities can be considered affordable luxuries. We conducted an exploratory investigation to determine whether millennial consumers differentiate between the terms “luxury” and “affordable luxury,” which products they perceive to be affordable luxuries, and the price range they are willing to pay for affordable luxuries. Our exploratory study (1) shows that consumers hold similar quality expectations for luxury and affordable luxury products, (2) reveals differentiating descriptors for luxury and affordable luxury products, (3) suggests that consumers see these products as a way to enhance one's image, and (4) offers pricing guidelines for such products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-75
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Affordable luxury
  • Hedonic consumption
  • Luxury
  • Millennials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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