U.S. Jewelry Sales Show Solid Gains


"Sales rose by ~7% inApril 2010."

The continuing recovery in the American economy is driving solid sales gains for U.S. jewelers. Sales for both specialty jewelers and other merchants selling jewelry rose by about 7% during April 2010, based on the latest data just released from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

There were three significant drivers of demand in April, which we have dubbed "The 3 Bs": bridal, beads and barter. Further, retail jewelers report that sales of fashion goods have shown improvement.

The current annual run-rate for total jewelry sales in 2010 is $63 billion. This is well above 2007's record jewelry sales of $61.6 billion. The annual run rate has been rising modestly each month this year; as new data comes in, government forecasting equations have become more optimistic.

While the recession brought about some changes in jewelry consumption in the U.S., we are seeing a "reversion to the mean" as the economy recovers. This is a mathematical expression that we've applied to consumer spending on jewelry: shoppers are reverting to their prior, pre-recession spending habits.

We've been predicting this trend: despite dire reports that consumer spending trends will be forever altered, it simply doesn't happen that way. Spending trends change very slowly by evolution, not revolution. Further, the jewelry industry has 50,000 years of history during which demand for jewelry remained undiminished. How many times do we need to say this? The recession of 20082009 isn't going to change consumers' cultural affinity for jewelry.

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