Retailers have already reported big sales are coming for the holidays – with one major, shiny exception.
Stores are looking to get rid of excess inventory of clothes, shoes, toys, gadgets and furniture. But jewelry could escape all those deep discounts.
That’s because holiday jewelry sales have skyrocketed over the past two years. On an annual basis, they jumped 32% in 2021 and 26.2% in 2020, according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report which tracks retail spending from November 1 to December 24, the peak period for gift purchases. year-end each year.
“Jewelry is in good shape heading into this holiday season,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry adviser at NPD Group. He expects consumers to turn to bling because they perceive it as a “good investment gift, so consumers’ spending limits will feel better spent on jewelry.”
Fine jewelry like studs and diamond necklaces — and maybe even an engagement ring — have always been popular gift options., but a few trends are pushing its popularity even higher, Cohen said.
There aren’t many flashy, lavish new tech products to rival jewelry this year. More importantly, jewelers are not struggling with excess inventory that has plagued much of the retail industry.
“Without a real overstock position, [jewelry] retailers aren’t worried” and don’t see the need for big sales, he said.
Signet Jewelers – the largest jewelry company in the United States and owner of Zales, Kay Jewelers and Jared – highlighted these trends in its latest earnings call, with the company also seeing stronger demand for higher priced items. .
“This is reflected in the fastest growth in jewelry being luxury price points, followed by accessible luxury,” Signet CEO Gina Drosos told analysts on the call earlier this month. Signet said it saw the strongest sales growth in prices of $1,000 and above in general, and in the $4,000 to $5,000 and $10,000 range, particularly for bridal jewelry.
The company is increasing the number of more expensive offerings to meet growing demand from wealthier customers, Drosos said. But Signet is also managing the impact of inflation on value-oriented shoppers by expanding its assortment of affordable jewelry, such as pieces with much cheaper lab-created diamonds instead of natural diamonds.
As the holiday season approaches, Signet said it has a “healthy level of inventory” to meet demand, but the amount of inventory is down year-over-year.
“This gives us confidence that we are well positioned to deliver novelty with minimal levels of holiday clearance,” Joan Hilson, Signet’s chief financial and strategic officer, said in a statement earlier this month.
Paul Zimnisky, an independent jewelry industry analyst, said Signet’s comments indicate consumers shouldn’t expect big sales or liquidations.
“I don’t expect cuts. However, I expect many jewelers to likely stock low-priced merchandise options,” Zimnisky said.