TM0901_Market Focus, Antique Buyers (1,070 words)
By Kate Mason
They're extraordinarily wealthy, highly educated, and have a penchant for purchasing high-priced items. Who are they? They're American antique collectors … and possibly a direct marketer's most desired target demographic group.
ANTIQUERS' SPENDING HABITS
"They're a dream demographic," says Patricia Hoffman, marketing and promotional manager for Arts & Antiques magazine, a publication that boasts a list of nearly 180,000 active subscribers with a median yearly income of $164,000. "These people are passionate about their hobby, and their purchasing percentages continue to rise." Apparently, the country's slumping economy hasn't rained on this group's purchasing parade: "On average, our readers spent $5,990 on antiques in the past year," reports Hoffman.
While Art & Antiques subscribers exhibit generous spending habits for the sake of their collections— $2,000 for a late 15th-century carved ivory salt container, for example, or a cool $2,500 for a rare Polish cast-brass table—they also spend on travel to galleries and antique shops nationwide in search of the perfect piece.
High-end antique collectors rank among the nation's elite; and while they fervently seek out additions to their collections, they are also hot targets for many similarly high-priced items.
"With this demographic, it seems the more high-end, the better," says Rob Odri, list manager, American List Counsel. Odri manages The Magazine Antiques subscriber list—an exclusive file of 78,000 readers with an average net worth of $1,149,000. "Condé Nast has had proven success with this group—publications such as House and Garden do well since collectors are interested in anything related to their hobby. But the sheer affluence of this group attracts all sorts of direct marketers."
John Papalia, president of Statlistics, agrees that direct marketers of high-end, luxury items such as clothing and jewelry have had great success with this discriminating demographic. "They [antique collectors] have the financial means to support their passion, and also to support their affluent lifestyles," he says.