Jewelry Sales Up for Black Friday

Jewelry sales saw a nice
rise on Black Friday weekend, according to a survey conducted by BIGresearch
for the National Retail Federation.

The number of people who purchased jewelry Nov. 26–28 rose substantially from
11.7 percent last year to 14.3 percent this year, the organization said.

Overall, NRF said that Black Friday sales were up over a year ago, but did not
specify numbers.

Jewelers surveyed by JCK generally agree with the upbeat assessment.

“We were very pleased with our Black Friday sales,” says Andrea Kosko, partner
in Fellin’s Jewelers in Hazleton, Pa. “Frequently in the past, we noticed that
Friday is less busy and Saturday is busier. Consumers usually go to the ‘big
box’ stores on Friday and then the independents. But this year were very busy
pretty much all day long.” Fellin’s big weekend sellers included diamond
earrings and sterling silver jewelry.

Jonathan Farnsworth, manager of Lewis Jewelers in Ann Arbor, Mich., says sales
were up 30 percent over 2009, with particularly good results from Pandora and
Hearts On Fire. “We anticipated it being better than last year,” he says,
“but it turned out better than we expected.”

Pandora was also popular at Wells & Co. Fine Jewelers in Virginia Beach,
Va. Owner Chris Wells notes sales were up 92 percent from last year’s
Thanksgiving holiday weekend. “Pandora certainly brought more customers in, no
doubt about it,” Wells says. “We’re off to a great start and we’re looking
forward to more.”

Still, many note that Black Friday is generally not a big jewelry day.

Bill Craig, owner of Craig’s Fine Jewelry in Ridgefield, Conn., remains
optimistic about the holiday season, despite Black Friday being an average day
for his store. “For a mom-and-pop store, we did well,” Craig says. “We were
packed from 3 to 7 p.m., but on Black Friday, I feel that people were filling
out wish lists,” Craig says. 

Will Zundel, owner of Zundel’s Jewelry in Mobile, Ala., says his store doesn’t
usually see a high volume on Black Friday, but it was still better than last
year. “The days prior to Thanksgiving were better than last year’s sales,”
Zundel says. “We’re anticipating a good year.” Popular Black Friday items for
Zundel’s included watches, pearls, and antique pieces.

Robert Sawyer of Sawyers Jewelry in Laconia, N.H., says the annual shopping
event was “what he expected.” Black Friday, he explains, “is not the
epicenter of our business. The mindset to buy the kind of jewelry I’m selling
is not the kind of mindset that gets up at 2 in the morning.” But he adds
that he did some good business on Saturday, particularly in Chamilia beads.
“The whole year has been better than last year,” he says. “I think that the
mood is better in terms of people’s attitudes. They feel as though we are
coming out of the other side of the curve.”

It was also “a typical Black Friday” for John E. Cook of John Cook
Jewelers in Charleston, W. Va. “Shoppers usually don’t hit us on Black Friday,”
he says. But he is upbeat about the holiday shopping season, noting that the
store has already sold some better-quality, higher-end pieces.