Jewelry sales showed no gain in 2001

Jewelers of America 2002 edition of its annual Cost of Doing Business Survey, reports that overall jewelry sales stayed the same when compared to last year.

The survey is published every fall and offers comprehensive financial information to help retailers evaluate and compare their store’s performance to others in the industry. Survey respondents are categorized into four groups to allow for legitimate peer comparisons: Independent High End, Independent Middle Range, Designer/Artist/Custom, and Chain Stores.

Among the survey’s results:

• Overall, survey respondents reported a 0% increase in sales in 2001. This is down significantly from a median sales increase of 3.3% in 2000 and the 10.5% increase achieved in 1999.

• Chain stores were the only type of jewelry retailers to experience sales growth, at 3.2%, in 2001. Meanwhile, jewelers in the designer/artist/custom category saw their sales decline by 12.5%.

• Overall net profit to net sales for survey respondents was 6.1% for 2001, the same as in 2000 and lower than the 7.3% reported in 1999.

• Gross margin for survey respondents held the line in 2001 at 49.3%, up slightly from the 47.4% reported in 2000, although it remains below the levels reported in the 1980s.

• Diamond jewelry and loose diamonds combined to account for 47% of all sales. Karat gold jewelry amounted to 11% of sales, while colored stone jewelry and jewelry repairs each accounted for 9%.

“The survey’s findings confirm the industry’s concerns about a challenging business environment,” says JA President and CEO Matthew A. Runci.

The annual survey measures key performance indicators including sales volumes within store types, productivity ratios, financial strength indicators, and balance sheet data. The study’s format, scope, and content are similar in each annual edition, making for easy, year-to-year comparisons.

The survey is based upon confidential questionnaires submitted by hundreds of JA members. The survey was prepared by Advantage Marketing Information, an independent research firm based in Wickford, RI.

The 2002 Cost of Doing Business Survey is available to JA member retailers for $19.95. The survey is $125 for non-members. JA members who contributed to the data by completing questionnaires receive one free copy. The survey can be purchased by calling Jewelers of America at 800-223-0673 or by visiting www.jewelers.org. Membership information is also available.