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Why This Year’s Holiday Season Will Be A Huge Opportunity For Jewelry Sales

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When the pandemic first hit back at the end of 2019, many people predicted that the jewelry industry would be one of its first casualties. There were dire warnings about the impact of social distancing and mandatory store closures. Luxury items were considered to be the first ones to go. After all, if everyone’s stuck at home, who’s going to walk-in and buy jewelry? Sales would surely tank. But, how wrong everyone was!

The jewelry industry has proven to be extremely resilient in the face of adversity.  Digital marketing and online sales were the backbone of the independent jeweler’s survival.  Luckily, many retailers had planned ahead and were prepared to sell online.  As the world opens up and life slowly returns to normal, this holiday season presents a huge opportunity to build upon the past year’s success.  

According to a recent study by Mastercard SpendingPulse,  US total holiday sales are expected to grow 7.4% in 2021 and consumers are expected to spend 7.6% more online this year than they did last year.

The same study also predicted that sales of jewelry items specifically are predicted to be up 59% when compared to the same holiday period last year (due to government stimulus as well as increased savings rates by consumers).  People have extra money and are looking to spend.

There are also several market forces and psychological factors which will work to your advantage.  Keep these points in mind:

1. The selling season will arrive early this year.  

With supply chain and labor issues impacting many industries, retailers are expected to offer early promotions while they still have items in stock and await new shipments.  While Covid continues to cause delays, stores can’t wait until the last minute to re-order.  They need to create demand now so they can afford to restock later.  Consumers can expect early Black-Friday level sales and this is something every retail jeweler should consider.

2. People want to splurge and feel special.

Flush with cash and fueled by a year of money saved by working from home, many consumers who missed their vacations last year want to “treat themselves” now.  With everything the world has gone through, many people feel they deserve it and jewelry is a nice reward anytime.

3. Shoppers are coming back to physical stores to help celebrate the holidays.  

According to Mastercard’s payment network, in-store sales will grow 6.6% over last year.

Though the shift to online shopping during the pandemic was quick and orders brisk, nothing says the holidays more than shopping in busy malls and walking down a bustling Main Street.  There’s the lights, the trees, the decorations, the music and the joy!  No website can match the warm feelings and good cheer of the holiday.  

People want to recapture the magic and the spirit of the season, something they so desperately missed.  Make your jewelry store a holiday destination and continue to spread the cheer!

4. Engagements have increased because of the pandemic.  

There’s nothing like a global crisis to really put life into perspective.  Many people have realized the fragility of life and don’t want to put their happiness off any longer.  Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and the pandemic has given even the shyest groom a swift kick in the baubles.  

With families gathering to celebrate the holidays, engagement rings and bridal jewelry sales will continue to be strong.

5. Jewelry and luxury items will remain strong performers.  

Demand for formal event jewelry is down, but demand for other type of jewelry is way up.  Former Saks CEO Steve Sardone has said that luxury goods and jewelry are the top two categories driving people back to physical stores.  

Even though in-person events and office-commutes have waned, people still need to look good on-camera.  Jewelry is one of the best gifts to instantly enhance your appearance. Consumers have shifted to larger, more noticeable pieces to really show off their style.  People are also willing to be more daring and wear jewelry they love because they’re at home.  There’s no boss looking over your shoulder or office pressure to dress a certain way.  At home, you (and your jewelry) can truly be yourself!

6. Online jewelry sales will continue to be the future.

According to recent results released by Signet, their e-commerce sales grew 57.5% in North America alone.  Signet has chosen to close hundreds of its local stores and has shifted its strategy to focus on digital sales, but has not completely abandoned physical locations.  There’s room for both marketing approaches and they should work in conjunction with each other.  

Though most jewelers will continue to focus on their retail stores, a digital business strategy is a must.  It’s also critical that you take an omni-channel approach to your marketing, combining both traditional and digital media.  

If the pandemic has shown anything, it’s proven that the independent jeweler is resourceful, resilient and strong.  There’s a reason why you’re still in business.   Grit and determination can go a long way when you’ve aways been considered the underdog.  Use this to your advantage and make this holiday season your greatest success yet!

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