Across the pond, Goldsmiths reports strong jewelry sales

Robust holiday sales figures out Thursday backed up widespread evidence that consumers in the United Kingdom were continuing to shrug off worries about the economic slowdown and rising unemployment, The Independent of London reported.

Goldsmiths, the upscale jewelry group that was taken private in 1999, reported a 9.5% rise in same-store sales in the four weeks to Christmas Eve, the newspaper reported.

Jurek Piasecki, Goldsmiths’ chief executive, told the newspaper that the stores had seen “solid buying”, with a move towards higher-priced items such as Rolex watches and diamond jewelry. However, December sales figures at Goldsmiths’ 161 stores lagged the year’s 10.8% rise and were also less than the 11.5% growth recorded last Christmas. Piasecki also said that one store sold approximately $94,500 in diamond rings and $80,000 in Rolex watches within a few days.