There has been a jewelry sales explosion since the COVID outbreak, and American consumers keep fueling it, buying jewelry en masse during the holiday season.
After US jewelry sales rose 36% in October, they leaped again, rising 51% at specialty jewelers in November. This continues the double-digit growth in US jewelry sales seen since July 2020.
The swelling demand for jewelry has turned around everything about selling jewelry in the past decades. The share of online sales has increased, share of wallet has leaped, diamonds are a thing again, specialty jewelers are capturing market share, and the slow growth of the past decade has been replaced by a massive expansion never seen before.
Jewelry Sales Explosion by the Numbers
The rise in demand benefited every jewelry category sold by specialty jewelers, propelling most by a high double-digit in November.
In terms of share by value, rings dominated jewelry sales at US specialty jewelers, followed by earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. These last two, bracelets and necklaces, were also the jewelry categories that were the fastest growing in November.
Jewelry Sales Explosion: Rings
In November, the best-selling items were rings, followed by earrings. Rings represented nearly half of all jewelry sales and averaged $1,855, according to an analysis by Tenoris. See below for more on this.
Engagement rings were the top sellers by value. If you cracked what drives increased sales during a crisis period, you would not be surprised to find that engagement ring sales leaped 44% year over year.
The average retail price of engagement rings shot up to $4,734, a very handsome 26% year-over-year increase.
Measured by the number of engagement rings sold, half of all sales (49%) were priced between $1,500 to $5,000.
Jewelry Sales Explosion: Earrings
Earrings are a staple of the video-conference era. Why? Because in a video call, no one sees your bracelet, but everyone gets to see your new earrings.
So, it is not surprising that in the midst of the holiday season, earring sales rose 65%.
The bestselling earrings were studs, accounting for 30% by unit count, and 39% by value in November.
The earring design that had the greatest growth were dangles, doubling their sales and seeing a 42% rise in average price.
Rounding up the jewelry sales explosion, the jewelry category with the largest growth in demand were necklaces, up 85% year over year, followed by bracelets.
The Bottom Line
After years of slow growth, diminishing share of wallet, creeping consumer doubt about diamonds, limited online activity, and generally falling victim to the growing popularity of dressing down – jewelry sales have come roaring back in the COVID era.
Jewelry sales were boosted by a need to spend, look good, and provide comfort. But the priciest items were often purchased as an expression of love.
Some couples realized there was no point on waiting any longer and decided to tie the knot. They joined those who had already made the decision, but whose weddings were delayed by the pandemic and need for social distancing.
Both groups are behind the surge in demand for engagement rings. With a reduction in other expenditures, they could allow themselves to spend more than they would have otherwise. And many did.
With US consumer demand for jewelry breaking records this year (and we are not the only ones saying so), and the holiday season seeing this trend continue with passion, the entire jewelry pipeline is benefiting. This is an important change in the jewelry economy.
US Holiday jewelry sales are forecasted to rise 40-42%. For the year, US jewelry sales are expected to total $94 to $95.3 billion, up 51% to 53% compared to 2020.
Chris Casey and I recently formed a new company, a sister company of Edahn Golan Diamond Research & Data, and one that complements its activities.
Tenoris is a trend analytics company supplying retail and consumer trend data. We analyze data collected from specialty jewelry retailers and flush out retail trends that would otherwise be difficult to detect. The wonders of Big Data analytics.
If you are interested in more US jewelry sales data, including specific consumers demand trends and detailed retail activity than please get in touch.
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