Where Wealthy Americans Are Spending Their Money

The affluent are pulling out their wallets and spending.

Jul 13, 2014 at 3:03PM

As the weather and the economy warm up, affluent Americans are fixing up and stocking up, according to a new consumer spending trends survey conducted by Spectrem's Millionaire Corner.

The highest percentage of affluent households surveyed are shopping at Home Depot (57%), followed by Lowe's (46%), an indication that with the summer season in full bloom, home projects are moving up on the to-do list.

Forty-six percent of Affluent shoppers report regularly shopping at Wal-Mart, while 45% shop at Target. Four in 10 frequent Costco, while three in 10 regularly shop at Kohl's.

Americans are currently much more upbeat about the economy and job prospects, according to the Conference Board June index of consumer confidence. The index increased from 82.2 in May to 85.2, its highest level since January 2008. The present situation index, a gauge of consumers' assessment of current economic conditions, jumped from 80.3 in May to 85.1. This is the index's highest reading since March 2008. Expectations for economic activity over the next six months gained 1.7 points from May to 85.2.

Generally, American confidence in the economy and their own financial situations translates to increased consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the economy.

Affluent Top Shops

Source: Spectrem's Millionaire Corner. 

Consumer spending trends surveyed by Millionaire Corner underscore gender preferences. Men are slightly more likely than women to regularly shop at DIY hardware stores such as Home Depot (61% vs. 50%) and Lowe's (48% vs. 43%).

Women, on the other hand, are more likely to shop at department stores such as Kohl's (35% vs. 27%) and Macy's (37% vs. 29%). J.C. Penney appeals to both equally (15%).

The highest percentage ofmMillennials and late Gen Xers under the age of 40 shops at Target (52%), according to Millionaire Corner's consumer spending trends survey. Target is also the store of choice for affluent respondents ages 41-50. For those 51 and older, Home Depot is the store they are most likely at which to shop regularly.

Home Depot is also most likely to cater to married couples over singles (60% vs. 46%).

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Donald Liebenson has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Costco Wholesale and Home Depot and owns shares of Costco Wholesale. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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