By Brecken Branstrator
New York—The trend of more jewelry businesses opening continued in the third quarter, according to recent data from the Jewelers Board of Trade, but more jewelers also ceased operations during the period.

The JBT’s third quarter data shows that the total number of business listings in North America (Canada and the United States)—including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers—was down almost 5 percent in the third quarter. There were 20,025 retailers in Q3 2018, as compared with 20,972 in the same quarter last year; 3,856 wholesalers this year, compared with 4,043 last year; and 2,643 manufacturers in 2018 as compared with 2,782 last year.

In the U.S. alone, business listings also were down 5 percent, with retailers declining by 939 in the quarter to 19,101; wholesalers by 172 to 3,651; and manufacturers down 144 to 2,516.

Canada saw a decrease in total listings of only 1 percent, with 8 fewer retailers, 15 fewer wholesalers and five more manufacturers than in Q3 2017.

But when it came to new businesses, North America saw a total of 54 companies start up in the third quarter, marking a 63 percent increase over the prior-year period. There were 42 new retailers, seven new wholesalers and five new manufacturers.

In the U.S., 39 retailers opened their doors in the third quarter, compared with 34 in the same period in 2017, as did seven wholesalers and five manufacturers.

New businesses in Canada also were up in the third quarter as three new jewelers set up shop, compared to 2017 when no new companies opened across any of the categories.  

As for business discontinuances across North America, retail was the only area to see closings increase year-over-year; a total of 161 retail jewelers ceased operations in the third quarter, compared with 149 in the same period in 2017. Nineteen wholesalers shut down in Q3, as compared to 33 in 2017, and nine manufacturers closed, down from 15 in 2017.

Thirty-three retailers consolidated (meaning they merged with or were acquired by another company) in North America in Q3, up from 23 last year, as did two wholesalers (versus one last year) and four manufacturers (flat from 2017).

In the U.S. alone, 155 retailers closed in the third quarter, up from 146 in the prior-year period. There were 17 wholesalers and eight manufacturers that closed down during the period, compared with 31 and 15, respectively, in the third quarter 2017.

In Canada, six jewelers shut down during the third quarter—double the amount that did so in Q3 2017—while two wholesalers (the same as last year) and one manufacturer (up from zero) closed.

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