Jewelry Sales Surge Expected to Continue Through the Holidays
Mastercard’s SpendingPulse survey said early shopping, bigger price tags and digital experiences will be the hallmarks of holiday 2021.
U.S. retail sales (excluding automotive and gas) are expected to grow 7 percent between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, the company said in a news release issued last week, with jewelry expected to be one of the top performers.
SpendingPulse has jewelry sales growing 59 percent year-over-year and 53 percent with compared with the 2019 holiday season, pre-pandemic.
The only category SpendingPulse forecasts to post stronger sales than jewelry is luxury (excluding jewelry), with sales nearly doubling year-over-year and growing 56 percent when compared with pre-pandemic levels.
The SpendingPulse prediction should come as no surprise to those who follow the fine jewelry industry.
Sales have been strong since mid-2020, with money normally spent on vacations, dining out, going out and traveling diverted to jewelry.
The industry’s two biggest mining companies, De Beers and Alrosa, have remarked continually on the strength of diamond jewelry sales in the U.S., and exhibitors at recent jewelry trade shows, including JA New York and the Las Vegas shows, said attendees came ready and needing to buy.
SpendingPulse also shed some light on when and where consumers are expected to shop this holidays season.
The company anticipates that consumers will spend 8 percent more online this holiday season than they did last year. Online sales are expected to be up a whopping 59 percent when compared with the 2019 holiday season.
But that doesn’t mean main streets and malls will be empty, as in-store shopping is expected to continue to recover, increasing 7 percent year-over-year.
Consumers are also expected to start shopping early again this year, lured by omnichannel promotions offered by retailers facing supply chain and labor shortage issues. This will be especially true in electronics, apparel and for department stores, SpendingPulse predicts.
In addition, both retailers and consumers will continue to use and embrace technologies that make shopping easier and more seamless, like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) and contactless payments.
SpendingPulse also expects consumers to splurge this season, thanks to high savings ratings and government stimulus checks, with jewelry and luxury expected to benefit.
“Over the last six months, the luxury retail and jewelry sectors have been experiencing some of the strongest YOY and YO2Y growth; that is anticipated to continue through the holidays,” the company said.
“This holiday season will be defined by early shopping, bigger price tags and digital experiences,” Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chair of Saks Inc., said in the release.
“Over the past two years, retailers have learned a lot about what shoppers want and need, bringing us into an exciting new age of retail resilience. Retailers have been preparing for this moment and will find innovative ways to deliver on what’s bound to be the biggest holiday shopping season yet.”
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