Store Closures Continue, But Openings Pick Up

SurveysApr 30, 2018

Store Closures Continue, But Openings Pick Up

For the first time in a long time, JBT data shows an uptick in the number of new jewelry businesses in the U.S.

JBT data for Q1 shows that the number of retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers that opened in the U.S. rose to 62 in Q1, up from 46 last year. Of those 62 new businesses, 45 were retailers.

New York—For the first time in a long time, the Jewelers Board of Trade’s quarterly data showed an uptick in the number of new jewelry businesses in the United States.

It was a small increase, and the slow, steady reduction in the overall number of retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers in North America continues.

The JBT’s number of total listings for the U.S. was 25,667 at the end of the first quarter, down 4 percent year-over-year. Counting Canada, total listings stand at 26,903.

But as new JBT President Richard Weisenfeld pointed out Friday, the rate of closures remains lower than what it was in the post-recession spike of 2014-2016.

“It seems like the shrinkage has slowed a little,” he said. “It will be interesting to see if that continues.”

In addition, preliminary results indicate jewelry sales are up so far in 2018, he said, meaning better results for the retailers that remain.

Closings and Openings
The number of U.S. jewelry businesses—meaning retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers—that closed in the first quarter totaled 288, up slightly (4 percent) from 277 in the same period last year.

Among retailers, closings numbered 241, an 11 percent increase from 217 in the same period last year.

The continuing closure of jewelry stores is not happening in a vacuum but, rather, against a backdrop of changes in a market that is “over-stored” for the digital age. The U.S. has about 24 square feet of retail space per capita, compared with, for example, about 5 square feet in the E.U., according to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Signet is set to close a net of about 165 stores this year, yes, but they are not alone.

Macy’s, Sears, Sam’s Club, GNC and Foot Locker are among the dozens of retailers that have announced plans to shutter locations nationwide, and some major retailers are exiting the market entirely. After creating generations of Toys “R” Us kids, the retailer is going out of business, as is department store chain Bon-Ton.

“There’s still going to be a lot of stores closing,” Weisenfeld said. “(But) it’s not just the jewelry business; it’s every business.”

Jewelry business consolidation and bankruptcies also were up in the U.S. in Q1.

Consolidations (meaning a sale or merger) among retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers totaled 45, up from 34 in the same period last year, and bankruptcies increased from 318 to 343.

JBT data shows a similar pattern in Canada: business closings were up from 15

to 22, mergers rose from one to three, and bankruptcies increased from 16 to 25.

While businesses continue to close, merge or file for bankruptcy, there also was a relatively significant increase in the number of new businesses to start the year.

The number of retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers that opened in the U.S. rose to 62 in Q1, up from 46 last year. Of those, 45 were retailers, compared with 37 in the same period last year.

That is a 35 percent increase, though it should be noted that overall, 62 is still a small number of business openings.

Shifts in the Southeast
Of those 45 new retailers, nearly half—21—set up shop in the Southeast, which the JBT defines as a region of 11 states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

After the Southeast, the Northeast (eight) and Southwest (seven) had the highest number of store openings.

Interestingly, the Southeast also accounted for the greatest number of U.S. jewelry store closings in Q1. Of the 241 retailers that shut down, 83 of them (about one in three) were located there, followed by:

--41 in the Southwest (California, Nevada, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona);
--39 in the North Central (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, India, Ohio, Michigan);
--35 in the Northeast;
--33 in the South Central (Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri); and
--10 in the Northwest (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska).

When asked about the openings and closings in the Southeast, Weisenfeld said patterns in specific regions are difficult to explain, particularly in such a short period of time as a single quarter.

“As much as we try to figure out why, it’s sometimes inexplicable,” he said.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

WatchesMay 23, 2022
Steven Kaiser, Watch Industry Veteran and Beloved Mentor, Dies at 68

Kaiser, whose illustrious career spanned decades, died suddenly on Friday.

IndependentsMay 23, 2022
Long’s Jewelers to Open New Location

The family-owned jeweler is relocating its Braintree, Massachusetts, store to a new space.

IndependentsMay 23, 2022
Luxury Goods Veteran Olivier Stip Joins Chicago Jeweler CD Peacock

He will step into the retailer’s newly created role of chief development officer.

Brought to you by
Dive into GIA’s Pearl Expertise

When it comes to knowing the identity and quality of your pearls, count on GIA as your independent pearl experts.

GradingMay 23, 2022
Gem-A Launches Digital Entry-Level Gemology Course

GemIntro is meant to give a broad introduction to gems and gemology.

Weekly QuizMay 19, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Recorded WebinarsMay 20, 2022
Watch: Responsible Sourcing and the Gold Supply Chain

Three industry experts discuss “recycled” gold vs. mined, their challenges and benefits, and how jewelers can navigate the area.

FinancialsMay 20, 2022
Richemont’s 2022 Jewelry Sales in the Americas Nearly Double

Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Buccellati put on stellar performances.

Brought to you by
A.I. Grading is Changing Conversations at the Retail Counter

Advanced technology levels the playing field, helping jewelers give customers what they want.

AuctionsMay 20, 2022
Piece of the Week: ‘Birds in Flight’ by Oscar Heyman

The New York jeweler made this incredible, colorful Art Deco bracelet featuring tropical birds in 1927.

MajorsMay 19, 2022
As It Nears 75, Here’s How Grandview Klein Stays Competitive

Once a part of Julius Klein Group, the diamond company combines its direct supply and cutting expertise with a keen eye to the future.

SourcingMay 19, 2022
De Beers’ Rough Sales Up 21% So Far This Year

One analyst cited rising diamond prices and the sanctions on Alrosa as contributing factors.

CollectionsMay 19, 2022
Brilliant Earth Collaborates with Jade Trau

The two have partnered on a capsule collection.

MajorsMay 19, 2022
Jewelers Mutual Adds 2 Industry Veterans to Its Board

John A. Green of retailer Lux Bond & Green and Niveet Nagpal of Omi Privé have joined the board of directors as of May 18.

FinancialsMay 18, 2022
Watches of Switzerland’s Jewelry Sales More Than Doubled in Q4

The retailer also said demand for Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet watches continues to exceed its supply.

AuctionsMay 18, 2022
Jewels from Bette Midler Are Headed to Bonhams

The auction house’s upcoming sale also includes collections from American heiresses.

IndependentsMay 18, 2022
Jeweler Lewis Baribault Celebrates 50th Work Anniversary

The Connecticut jeweler reflected on five decades in the industry and what the future holds for the family business.

Events & AwardsMay 18, 2022
Visit A Mine in New Jersey With WJA New York Metro

The chapter has organized a day trip to the Sterling Hill Mine and Museum in Ogdensburg on Saturday, May 21.

SourcingMay 17, 2022
A New Source in Tanzania Is Producing Cobalt-Blue Spinel

The stones come from a deposit close to Mahenge and have been on the market for several months.

SourcingMay 17, 2022
‘Pop’ the Question With Stephanie Gottlieb’s New Diamond Cut

The jewelry designer is partnering with popcorn brand Angie’s Boomchickapop on a whimsical diamond cut.

ColumnistsMay 17, 2022
What You Need to Know About the Google Analytics 4 Rollout

In the latest article from The Smart Lab, Emmanuel Raheb outlines the website changes jewelers can expect with this new software.

TechnologyMay 17, 2022
Virtual Diamond Boutique Uncorks the ‘Sales Genie’

The new app allows salespeople to quickly and easily access a lot of inventory.

Events & AwardsMay 17, 2022
‘Cartier and Islamic Art’ Exhibition Opens in Dallas

Following its Paris debut, “Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity” has landed at the Dallas Museum of Art.

IndependentsMay 16, 2022
Mejuri Plans to Triple Its Store Count This Year

The fine jewelry brand expects to open 17 new locations, mostly in North America.

IndependentsMay 16, 2022
Karats Jewelers Plans Expansion Into 30,000-Square-Foot Store

The Kansas retailer is aiming for a fall 2023 opening.

MajorsMay 16, 2022
Pandora Announces Plans to Build Third Factory, First Outside Thailand

It will be located in Vietnam’s Binh Duong Province, and construction is slated to start early next year.

IndependentsMay 16, 2022
MJSA Has Released its 2022 Buyer’s Guide

It’s full of hundreds of contacts for jewelry-making supplies and services.

FinancialsMay 13, 2022
Brilliant Earth Reports Strong Q1 But Lowers 2022 Guidance

The company is feeling the impact of the uncertain geopolitical and macroeconomic environment, said CEO Beth Gerstein.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy