TIME Style and Design Poll

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95% OF AFFLUENT AMERICANS HAVE MADE AN ONLINE PURCHASE IN THE LAST YEAR, ACCORDING TO TIME STYLE AND DESIGN POLL

Two-Thirds of Affluent Americans (68%) Have Purchased Clothing and Accessories and Books (68%) Online in Past Year; More than Half (54%) Have Purchased Music

RALPH LAUREN VOTED BEST CLOTHING BRAND, MERCEDES BEST AUTOMOTIVE BRAND AND CLINIQUE BEST BEAUTY BRAND, ACCORDING TO ONLINE POLL

Men Own an Average of 12 Pairs of Shoes; Women Own an Average of 27 Pairs; One-Third (34%) of Women Own More Than 10 Handbags

New York — An overwhelming majority (95%) of affluent Americans have made an online purchase in the past year, according to the latest TIME online poll, featured in the TIME Style and Design issue out on Monday, March 6th.  The most popular items purchased online were clothing/accessories and books, with a little more than two-thirds of respondents (68%) respectively making these purchases in the past year. More than half (54%) have purchased music; half (50%) have purchased electronics, while almost one-third (32%) have purchased toys.  A little more than one-fourth (29%) have purchased furniture and décor online; one-fourth (25%) have purchased food and drugstore products respectively and 14% have made an automotive purchase. 

Nearly four in ten (39%) affluent Americans do most of their shopping for clothing and accessories in department stores, a quarter (25%) in chain retail stores specializing in apparel/accessories and 12% on the Internet, according to the poll. Four-in-ten (40%) of those surveyed consider the brands of clothing the store carries as the most important factor in deciding where to shop for clothing and accessories, while a little more than one-third (36%) consider good prices the most important factor. Fifteen percent (15%) consider the proximity to home or work as the key factor. Nine percent (9%) of those surveyed shopped for clothing and accessories online once a week or more, compared to 10% who shop about every other week and 18% who shop  once a month. Nearly one-third (32%) shop for these items online a few times a year.

Many Americans (36%) get their ideas for new clothing and accessories from browsing at stores or seeing what other people are wearing (19%) vs. catalogs (13%), fashion magazines (12%), advertisements (7%) or the Internet (4%).

Brands: Putting price aside, affluent Americans voted Ralph Lauren the best clothing brand (15%), followed by Brooks Brothers (12%) and Armani (11%), according to the TIME online poll. Mercedes (22%), Lexus (16%) and BMW (15%) were voted best automotive brands and Clinique the best beauty/grooming brand (11%) followed by Neutrogena (10%) and Estée Lauder (9%).

Clothing Allowance: Of those surveyed, one-fourth (26%) spent $1,001 to $2,500 on clothing for either themselves or others in 2005.  Fourteen percent (14%) spent $751 to $1,000 and $501 to $750 respectively and 13% spent $2,501 to $5,000. Only 3% spent more than $10,000 on clothing.

Battle of the Sexes: Nearly two-thirds (63%) of men own 10 pairs of shoes or less with the average being 12 pairs. A large majority (82%) of women on the other hand, own 11 pairs of shoes or more with the average being 27 pairs. Two-in-five (19%) women confess to having more than 50 pairs of shoes, compared to only 4% of men.  About one-third (34%) of affluent women own more than 10 handbags, with the average being 7. One-quarter (25%) of respondents have between 6-10 handbags.

Spending: When asked what the highest price they have paid for various items for either themselves or someone else, men out-spend women in terms of the most spent on jewelry (the average being $1,251 men-$1,117 women), clothing ($780-$690) and a pair of shoes ($257-$200). Almost half (40%) of respondents claim to have spent $2,000 or more on jewelry for either themselves or someone else.  The most money spent on beauty and grooming products is fairly equal between the sexes ($153 men-$156 women). Women spent the most money on clothing (an average of $2,197 women-$1,867 men), beauty/grooming products ($749-$594) and accessories ($866-$706). Men tend to spend more on jewelry (including watches) than women ($1,409-$1,297).

Methodology: This TIME Style & Design Poll of affluent adults was conducted via the Internet January 12-17, 2006 by Schulman, Ronca, & Bucuvalas, Inc. Public Affairs.  A total of 603 interviews were conducted among a national sample of adults age 18 years or older with household income of at least $150,000.  The median household income was $206,300.The margin of error for the entire sample is approximately +/- 4 percentage points. The margin of error is higher for subgroups. Surveys are subject to other error sources as well, including sampling coverage error, non-response bias, recording error, and respondent error.  The full TIME questionnaire and results data may be found at: www.srbi.com.

Media Contacts: Ty Trippet, TIME 212-522-3640, Kim Noel -3651 or Jen Zawadzinski -9046