Top 5 Secret Luxury Shopping Perks
Companies connected to the luxury retailing sector know that high-end products aren’t the only way to get big spenders through the door. Many businesses offer “secret” or discrete perks to valued customers, either through formalized programs or on a case-by-case, invitation-only basis.
The Hour Glass
This purveyor of luxury timepieces is primarily based in Asia, but is building a presence in luxury markets online and across the world through partnerships with retailers like Barney’s in the United States. It offers a variety of perks to favored clientele, including private showroom sessions, exclusive first looks at new watches and products, and access to limited-run watch designs. They even provide Swiss vacations to chosen VIPs, who are given private tours of production facilities to see how their watches are manufactured according to age-old traditions and techniques.
This Lebanon-based company specializes in ornate and luxurious jewelry, and provides a luxury VIP membership card that entitles chosen clients to private showings and exclusive access to limited-edition jewelry. Customers can apply for the membership card in any store or by contacting the headquarters, but access to the top-tier VIP perks is given by invitation, usually to customers with an established history with the company and its jewelry.
As one of the biggest names in luxury fashion, and with store locations around the world, it’s not surprising that Gucci goes out of its way to cultivate lasting relationships with high-spending clientele. This focus includes offering many VIP perks. Entry to these exclusive avenues of opportunity can come through the use of store credit cards and membership programs, but in many cases the company’s staff will take notice of consistent big spenders and reach out to them directly. Along with exclusive showroom tours and access to ultra-high-end merchandise, the company is known for regularly sending its VIPs to events such as the Cannes Film Festival, fashion shows, equestrian competitions and other rarefied, luxury events.
Though not a retailer, this iconic credit card company works hard to earn the loyalty of its high net worth customers, and regularly partners with retailers such as Prada, Chanel and Rolls Royce to provide VIP benefits to its best clients. Although the myth of the American Express Black Card is famous the world over, it’s the new generation American Express Centurion Black Card that brought the legend to life in 1999. Cardholders must meet minimum thresholds for wealth and income to even be considered for approval, and must be expressly invited by American Express to apply. Although American Express has been surprisingly successful in keeping the wraps on the full range of benefits enjoyed by cardholders, several perks have leaked out in the years since its creation. Among other benefits, cardholders have access to exclusive, 24-hour concierge service, with staff members ready and willing to cater to any and all member requests. Members also receive automatic VIP status at a variety of luxury hotels, dining establishments, airlines and car rental companies.
Unacknowledged VIP Programs
Although many other luxury retailers don’t offer any codified VIP clubs, they all go out of their way to keep track of and accommodate lavish spenders and ultra-wealthy clients. In many cases simply shopping at their locations will be enough to gain recognition, but customers looking for the inside scoop on the pampered opportunities available at any luxury store should make an effort to let the staff know. Requesting a private shopping appointment or concierge service on the sales floor is a good way to get individual attention from the store’s staff, and chances are they’ll make you aware of VIP opportunities in order to further the relationship.