2017 US Holiday Jewelry Sales Rise, Reports Indicate Continued Economic Growth – by Russell Shor (gemological institute of America – January 19, 2018)


Holiday jewelry sales in the U.S. increased 5.9% in 2017, according to a Mastercard-SpendingPulse survey, and outpaced spending in general, which increased 4.9%. The survey found that jewelry buying was running behind other retail categories until the week before Christmas when sales surged. Mastercard’s survey results are typically a bit higher than others.

A Centurion survey of primarily upscale jewelry retailers found that nearly 60% reported sales increases (one-third of those over 10%), but many noted that the gains came despite decreased customer traffic – fewer buyers were spending more money.

Signet Plc, the largest jewelry chain, turned in a disappointing season, however. Declining traffic at shopping malls and problems with its credit program resulted in a sub-par season: a 5.3% decline in its same store U.S. sales and an 8% decline overall.

Signet, the parent company to Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, outsourced its credit card division amid allegations of improper practices that remain under investigation. Signet claims the allegations lack merit. Some 62% of the company’s sales are made on credit.

While retail sales continue to migrate to e-commerce outlets, jewelers remain a critical part of the jewelry buying process, according to a survey by Jewelers of America.

Conducted by Provoke Insights, the survey found that the jewelry purchase process is different from other high-priced luxury items: 64% of consumers who purchased jewelry visited a retail outlet to speak to a jeweler during the research process, a number that is 26% higher than other luxury items.

For the rest of this article: https://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research-2017-us-holiday-jewelry-sales-rise-reports-indicate-continued-economic-growth