Two long-standing jewelry basics—diamonds and watches—appear to be headed for strong sales this holiday season, according to data from the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and NPD Group.
According to the DPA, some 21 percent of Americans—which translates to 53 million consumers—plan to purchase a diamond between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Men and millennials are the most likely to purchase diamonds, the group found.
The DPA study, which was conducted online by KRC Research and polled 1,000 adults, found that 35 percent of millennials plan to purchase a diamond in the next few months, and that more than one in 10 (13 percent) plan to buy a diamond engagement ring. Among men in general, 27 percent plan to purchase a diamond, and 11 percent plan to buy a diamond engagement ring.
Watches also look strong. Reginald Brack, executive director and industry analyst for watches and luxury at the NPD Group, said in a recent blog post that he was “bullish” on watches for the upcoming holiday season, noting that watch sales had already risen 8 percent over last year in the first half of 2018.
He said that watches that sold for more than $3,000 were the strongest sellers, and he predicted consumers may have a difficult time getting the most popular brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe.
“[I]f you don’t already have a strong relationship with an authorized retailer of either brand, you can forget obtaining one of these models at retail during the holidays,” Brack wrote. “Neither brand sells direct-to-consumer nor online, so your only hope is having that relationship with a retailer in the all-important independent channel.”
He also predicts strong sales for unisex watches, sports watches, and timepieces with blue dials.
On top of that, jewelry remains high on customer wish lists. The National Retail Federation found that 22 percent of consumers hope for jewelry this holiday. It predicted that overall retail sales will rise 4.2 percent this holiday.
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