Report: Jewelers need to bridge the gender gap

Men and women buy jewelry for different reasons and the challenge and opportunity lie in the ability of jewelers to bridge that gender gap, according to a recently released study.

“Women are from Venus and men are from Mars when it comes to jewelry shopping and buying,” said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, Stevens, Pa. “Men’s and women’s needs are so different, their desires so unique, that it is the rare jewelry marketer or retailer that can bridge the gender gap in the jewelry market.”

Some key gender differences in the Unity Marketing study, Jewelry Report 2004: The Who, What, Where, How Much and Why of Jewelry Shopping, include:

* Men buy mostly fine jewelry items as gifts for women; women buy jewelry mostly for themselves and are about equally likely to buy either fine or costume jewelry.

* Women’s jewelry dominates the market, accounting for nearly 90 percent of the dollar volume in 2003; men’s jewelry is only 10 percent of the total market. Men are the primary purchasers of what little men’s jewelry is bought; women simply don’t buy jewelry as gifts for men.

* Women buy more jewelry pieces per year, but men spend lots more money. Men who buy jewelry spend two-times more per year than women do.

Danziger says that based on the report’s findings, now is the right time position jewelry as a gift for women to give to men.

“The emergence of the ‘metrosexual’ male who is interested in fashion and grooming, along with men’s shopping magazines like Cargo and television make-over shows like “What Not To Wear,” which feature men for fashion rehabilitation, signal a ripe opportunity to capitalize on this trend,” she says.

Danziger also says that the report lists strategies to help retailers to better meet the needs of women who purchase jewelry for themselves.