The Who, What, Where, How Much, and Why of Jewelry Shopping

Two years after the launch of its last major jewelry report on the U.S. market, Unity Marketing, Stevens, Pa., unveils another. The new research offers more depth and insight into consumers buying fine jewelry.

The report focuses on consumer buying behavior, needs, desires, and preferences, and aims to inform about potential opportunities to satisfy consumer jewelry and watch demand. To accomplish the goal, the report features multiple charts and graphs, and covers information about:

  • Jewelry market size and growth

  • Demographics of the jewelry market

  • Jewelry-buying behavior, and

  • Psychographic profile and segmentation of the jewelry market.

Data from government sources, such as the Bureau of Economic Analyses, help paint an accurate picture of the fine and costume jewelry and watch market in the United States, but new data delve deeper into consumer purchases. For example, Unity added research on jewelry sales by type of item, such as rings, bracelets, and bridal jewelry, and broke out results by men and women for fine and costume jewelry. Data about sales by metal and gemstones for the same categories were also broken out, as well as by channel of distribution, revealing jewelry-only stores’ share of market.

This study also addresses consumers’ most recent jewelry purchases, looking closely at exactly what was bought and why. Consider that Unity’s research reveals that “women’s fine jewelry buyers are more likely to be higher income ($50,000 and above) … about 62% of fine women’s jewelry buyers were making a gift purchase, as compared with 39% that were self-purchasers.” Consumers are quoted directly, the result of numerous focus groups: With regard to TV and Internet jewelry sales—”It looks great, but I’m not sure when I see it on TV, it doesn’t look the same when I’ve got it in front of me, so I kind of hesitate,” said one. Another commented on the Internet as a research tool: “I see what kind of deals are out there on the Internet, and I see what these things retail for—what the Internet prices are, and stuff like that, and I’ll use that as a gauge to know if I’m getting a deal or not getting a deal. I use that as a bargaining chip.”

A chapter on pricing highlights some retail areas that need improvement. Most consumers think that jewelry is overpriced, so retailers shouldn’t be surprised that “two-thirds of recent jewelry purchases were made on sale or at a discount,” according to Unity data.

Much more information is available in the report. To check it out, log onto JCK’s Research & Stock Art Store at http://store.yahoo.com/jckresearch/index.html where it’s available for purchase in a downloadable PDF format.

Top 10 Stores for Jewelry
Following are stores where consumers shopped for jewelry.

Wal-Mart 41%
Source: Unity Marketing Jewelry Report 2004, The Who, What, Where, How Much, and Why of Jewelry Shopping
JC Penney 25%
Target 22%
eBay 18%
Sears 17%
Kmart 16%
Zales 15%
Kay 12%
Kohl’s 11%
Sam’s Club 9%