Columnists

On Data: Jewelry Sales Soared in November

ColumnistsDec 07, 2021

On Data: Jewelry Sales Soared in November

All categories showed strength, but diamonds led the way, Sherry Smith writes in her latest column.

Sherry Smith is director of business development for data and consulting company The Edge Retail Academy. She can be reached at sherry@edgeretailacademy.com.
According to a recent PwC survey, 40 percent of respondents said the pandemic would not affect their spending this holiday season and 30 percent said they will likely spend, on average, 48 percent more than they did last year.

The survey also indicated consumers plan to treat themselves this year after feeling deprived during the 2020 holiday season.

The National Retail Federation, meanwhile, predicts the highest holiday retail sales on record, while Deloitte forecasts November to January retail sales to climb 7-9 percent.

For independent jewelers, these bullish forecasts are almost certain to prove true. 

Based on our aggregated data of $3 billion, November showed a 38 percent increase in gross sales compared with the same period last year. 

The average retail sale climbed 19 percent for the month and the discount rate dropped 6 percent, from 24 percent to 18 percent.

Loose diamonds made up 15 percent of gross sales in November and had a 9 percent increase in average retail sale.

Diamond earrings were a standout as well, showing an increase of 62 percent in gross sales and 21 percent in average retail sale.

For the 12-month period of Nov. 1, 2020 through Oct. 31, 2021, retail jewelers’ gross sales grew 36 percent and unit sales grew 19 percent. 

Average retail sale was up 15 percent and gross margin improved by 1.9 percent. There was also an increase of 39 percent in gross profit dollars when compared with the same period last year.

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The year-to-date results for retail jewelers show even more promise.

Data for January through October 2021 shows gross sales up 46 percent, units sold up 27 percent, average retail sale up 15 percent, gross margins up 2.5 percent, and gross profit dollars up 50 percent.

The West and Northeast regions show the strongest increases in gross sales, 56 and 50 percent respectively, although all regions showed growth of at least 43 percent in gross sales year-to-date.

Not surprisingly, the diamond categories represented approximately 49 percent of the aggregated gross sales. (Note this data does not include diamond products processed through the POS as custom sales.)

Diamond necklaces showed the strongest growth with a 78 percent increase in gross sales, followed closely by diamond bracelets (73 percent) and diamond earrings (66 percent).

Overall year-to-date, the diamond categories are up 49 percent in gross sales, 37 percent in units sold, 8 percent in average retail sale, 2.7 percent in gross margin and 53 percent in gross profit.

Loose diamonds made up 30 percent of all diamond sales, followed by diamond engagement rings at 15 percent and diamond wedding bands at 14 percent.

Again, the West region had the strongest performance with a 57 percent increase in gross sales of diamond categories overall, followed by the Southeast at 52 percent.
While sterling silver jewelry has been in decline for a few years, it too experienced a 35 percent increase in overall gross sales, a 25 percent increase in units sold, a 2.5 percent increase in gross margin, and an 8 percent increase in average retail sale. 

The colored stones/pearl categories grew 59 percent in gross sales, 34 percent in units sold, 2.6 percent in gross margin and 18 percent in average retail sale.

Colored stone rings made up 39 percent of gross sales of the colored stone/pearl categories followed by colored stone earrings at 13 percent.

Watches continue to do well in our year-to-date aggregate showing a 38 percent increase in gross sales, a 30 percent increase in units sold, a 2.1 percent in gross margin, and a 6 percent increase in average retail sale.

Many retailers had expressed concerns over what the holiday season might bring, given that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and dealing with potential supply chain issues. 

However, sales continue to be strong, even with a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, beginning to spread in the U.S.

In general, consumers are feeling optimistic about their holiday spending and everything points to a bountiful holiday season for retailers, record-breaking even for some, such as our independent jewelers.

Sherry Smithis director of business development for data and consulting company The Edge Retail Academy.

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