Jewelers saw an overall sales decrease of 4.5 percent in 2009, one percent greater than in 2008, according to reports in the Cost of Doing Business Report issued by Jewelers of America.
For the second year, chains reported the steepest declines (?13.6 percent) and showed little change from 2008 (?13.2 percent).
Independent high-end retailers had a decline of 7.5 percent, compared with ?1.3 percent in 2008. The bright spots came from designer/artist/custom jewelers, who had a median sales increase of 3.1 percent, up from ?0.8 percent in 2008, and mid-range retailers, whose ?0.9 percent median sales growth is up from ?5.5 percent in 2008.
There was a positive shift in specialty jewelers’ profitability and gross margins. Industry profitability in 2009 held steady, with specialty jewelers enjoying a median 3.8 percent net profit as a percent of net sales versus 3.6 percent in 2008. In addition, gross margins recovered across all store types in 2009, with 49.4 percent as the median overall gross margin, compared with 48.6 percent in 2008.
For information on purchasing the 2010 Cost of Doing Business Report, visit www.jewelers.org, call 800-223-0673, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s available for $24.95 for JA members, $150 for non-members.