Forecast Gives Jewelers Hope for Strong Holiday Sales

Consumers will spend $4.7 billion on jewelry this holiday season—a 7 percent increase from last year—according to a forecast from industry research firm IBISWorld. 

The forecast also predicts that overall holiday expenditure is expected to increase 3.3 percent to $64.3 billion. “The luxury market has led the economy in recovery, showing signs of growth throughout 2011,” said IBISWorld senior analyst Nikoleta Panteva in a statement.  “The holidays are an especially appropriate time for consumers to purchase splurge-worthy items like jewelry for their loved ones.”

Paul Cohen, owner of Continental Jewelers in Wilmington, Del., believes it’s possible that jewelers could see a 5 to 10 percent increase in sales this holiday season.

“The industry is poised for growth,” says Cohen, adding that his store had its second strongest Black Friday weekend in 10 years. “We’ve seen sales trending upward, which is a positive thing, so maybe it’s starting to get predictable.”

The forecast does caution that lingering unemployment will keep holiday retail sales from hitting pre-recessionary levels, despite the decline in aggregate household debt.

“Even with the price of gold and diamonds as high as they are, I have seen steady sales in my area,” says Jonathan Green of AAA Gold & Jewelry in Plant City, Fla. “Nothing that has swept me off my feet, but I would say a definite increase from last year, so I feel the holiday sales will be good for us this year.”

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