How Were Holiday Jewelry Sales? A Roundup

The data shows a mixed, but not altogether downbeat, picture

The annual 24 Karat Weekend is a great way to take the industry’s temperature after the holiday. This year, holiday results appear to be all over the map—some independents did great; others recorded a 1 to 2 percent gain, which has become standard for many since the recession. In a surprise, we also saw mixed results at the mass-market level as well.

Here is as much information as we could cull about how the industry did at holiday. As you will see, the data shows a mixed, but not altogether downbeat, picture:

MasterCard SpendingPulse

Jewelry sales at holiday: up 0.7 percent

Jewelry sales at independents in December: up 1.4 percent

Jewelry sales for 2016: up 0.4 percent

Jewelry sales online at holiday: up double digits

Source: The first three were cited by De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver at the Forevermark New Year’s cocktail party­­; the last comes from a SpendingPulse news release.

De Beers survey of Forevermark jewelers

Diamond sales at holiday: up 6.4 percent

Diamond sales for 2016: up 7.6 percent

Note: This survey consists of 68 jewelers who carry the Forevermark brand.

Source: Cited by De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver at the Forevermark New Year’s cocktail party

Numbers cited by Signet

Online jewelry sales at holiday: up double digits

Brick-and-mortar sales at holiday: down single digits

Source: Cited by CEO Mark Light on his most recent conference call. A Signet spokesman said this information was likely derived from “subscription-based services,” without getting more specific, though the first stat matches the SpendingPulse number above.

Centurion Jewelry survey of luxury jewelers

Holiday sales up more than 10 percent: 32.5 percent of jewelers surveyed

Holiday sales up between 6 and 10 percent: 12.5 percent of jewelers surveyed

Holiday sales up between 1 and 5 percent: 17.5 percent of jewelers surveyed

Holiday sales down 1 to 10 percent: 15 percent of jewelers surveyed

Holiday sales down more than 10 percent: 20 percent of jewelers surveyed

Source: Centurion

U.S. Department of Commerce

November jewelry sales: up 6.8 percent

Note: This about matches the government numbers for jewelry sales for most of the year. This number is frequently revised.

Source: Ken Gassman/Idexonline

National Retail Federation

Clothing and accessories sales at holiday: up 2.5 percent (unadjusted)

Source: NRF

Signet Jewelers

Kay Jewelers holiday comps: down 4.6 percent

Jared holiday comps: down 4.7 percent

Zales holiday comps: down 3.7 percent

Piercing Pagoda comps: up 4.2 percent

Source: JCKonline

Tiffany & Co.

Comps in Americas region: down 3 percent

Comps at New York City flagship: down 14 percent

Note: The Tiffany flagship is a unique case, as it’s close to the Trump Tower and its sales have been hurt by the commotion there.

Source: JCKonline

Birks Group

U.S. comps: up 16 percent

Source: JCKonline

Michael Hill Jewelers

U.S. comps: down 8.8 percent

Source: JCKonline

Department stores

Macy’s jewelry sales at holiday: strong

Macy’s watch sales at holiday: weak

J.C. Penney jewelry sales at holiday: strong

Source: JCKonline

(Photo of Forevermark five-stone diamond band in 18k white gold courtesy of Forevermark)

JCK News Director