Jewelry sales staging a holiday comeback as shoppers look to add sparkle to challenging year

Tiffany & Co. reward bins seen in a retailer window.

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Many Americans are spending their days working from dwelling in leggings and casualwear through the coronavirus pandemic. They have few, if any, events or gatherings the place they costume up — by no means thoughts showcase a shiny bracelet or a new necklace.

Companies together with Signet Jewelers, Tiffany & Co. and Kendra Scott will look to overcome these empty social calendars this holiday season and encourage jewellery purchases as a romantic gesture, a Zoom accent or a means to add sparkle to a very challenging year.

“It’s going to be up to the retailers to really coax and swoon the gifter to recognize that jewelry is the gift that’s going to soothe all of the pain that we’ve had to endure,” mentioned Marshal Cohen, senior chief retail analyst at The NPD Group. “The feel good. The ‘I love you’ part of that equation. That now has to become a bigger part than it’s ever been before.”

During the pandemic, Signet CEO Gina Drosos mentioned clients have sought out extra customised gifts at its shops, together with Zales. Some have gotten rings or different jewellery engraved with messages about how the pandemic has strengthened their love.

Signet Jewelers

Jewelry sales have been one of many hard-hit classes through the pandemic. Sales of jewellery from March to October have been down by about 30% year over year, in accordance to knowledge from The NPD Group. They have recovered considerably previously few months, the market researcher’s knowledge present, with sales flat in August, October and November.

A refreshing change

Tapping into pandemic-fueled romance

At Signet Jewelry’s retail chains like Jared, Kay Jewelers and Zales, greater than 300 workers at the moment are educated as digital jewellery consultants. They may also help {couples} select engagement rings or information spouses towards a particular reward with out these clients getting into the shop.

This holiday season, Signet CEO Gina Drosos mentioned the retailer will serve clients in these new methods and expects to promote extra “gifts that have a story.” She mentioned through the pandemic, clients have sought out extra customised gifts and have gotten jewellery engraved with messages about how the pandemic has strengthened their love for a partner or accomplice.

She pointed to one of many collections at Zales and Kay this holiday season, “Everything You Are,” which has 5 distinctive diamonds to rejoice the various sides of a girl. She mentioned that message could resonate at a time when ladies have had to juggle working from dwelling with serving to children attend college just about.

She mentioned the corporate expects pandemic-fueled romance to buoy sales, too. Couples have accelerated transferring in collectively and grown nearer through the pandemic — and that will lead to extra engagements, in accordance to the corporate’s inside analysis.

She mentioned a number of sales associates have gotten ordained and officiated about a dozen weddings in retailer or within the curbside pickup line through the pandemic.

Signet’s same-store sales dropped by 31.3% within the second quarter, roughly in keeping with business tendencies, however Drosos mentioned sales have strengthened once more with shops reopened and extra folks searching for jewellery on-line. The firm will report its third-quarter earnings subsequent week.

She mentioned it is elevated capability to fulfill 5 occasions as many e-commerce orders as final year. “We want to be the company that can deliver that wonderful, meaningful, romantic gift for this holiday season,” she mentioned.

On Tuesday, Tiffany reported that enterprise is rebounding, too, as sales in China rose 70% and sales at dwelling picked up within the third quarter. The U.S. jeweler, which is being purchased by French luxurious big LVMH, mentioned it should enter the gift-giving season on robust footing.

Tiffany CEO Alessandro Bogliolo mentioned in a information launch that the latest quarter “speaks volumes about the enduring strength of the Tiffany brand and gives us confidence as we enter the important holiday season.”

Kendra Scott is planning for extra on-line procuring this holiday season, however mentioned it expects clients to hunt down presents like its Vivian Drop Earrings.

Kendra Scott

‘Zoom-worthy jewellery’

At Kendra Scott, retailer workers have had to get artistic to overcome pandemic-related challenges. The Austin, Texas-based jeweler is thought for its dangly earrings and assertion jewellery. It has greater than 100 shops and its jewellery is bought by boutiques and main malls, together with Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Macy’s-owned Bloomingdale’s.

Each holiday season, clients usually line up exterior of its shops and workers hand out champagne and cookies. This year, the road has grown longer due to retailer capability limits, President Tom Nolan mentioned.

Along with sanitizing shops, Nolan mentioned workers have tried to put a pandemic-friendly spin on the shopper expertise. They’ve handed out “golden tickets” without spending a dime jewellery and had musicians carry out exterior of shops. To maintain sales transferring, shops have added curbside pickup and pre-box fashionable objects.

Nolan mentioned Kendra Scott has seen on-line sales leap considerably and expects on-line purchases to exceed brick-and-mortar sales this year. He declined to present income figures for the privately held firm, however mentioned comparable sales are barely up year over year — regardless of having to quickly shutter.

He mentioned the retailer has benefited from folks having extra discretionary revenue as they spend much less in different areas like journey. Some have spent a little extra on their purchases, such as upgrading to demi-fine jewellery that pairs gold- or silver-plated jewellery with semi-precious stones, or paying extra to customise a bracelet.

And, he mentioned, folks nonetheless need to placed on earrings and necklaces, even when they haven’t any place to go.

“Even in the virtual world that we’re living in, people are still doing a lot of Zoom calls and women and men are still wearing jewelry and getting dressed from the waist-up for when they’re on a Zoom call,” he mentioned. “That has served us well.”

At Signet, Drosos mentioned she’s been shocked by the leap in sales of earrings and pendants as folks look for “Zoom-worthy jewelry” to specific themselves in “that little box on the screen.”

Customers have gravitated extra to coloured stones, together with engagement rings, she mentioned.

“It’s just been a bit of a dark time and that’s one of the ways that customers are bringing color and life and light back into their lives,” she mentioned.

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