More consumers will be looking to buy jewelry this holiday, according to new research from the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council.
The research found that 38 percent of respondents plan to purchase jewelry this year. That is the survey’s highest number in years, says Martin Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing, JCOC’s parent company.
“It’s definitely an uptick,” says Hurwitz. “No question jewelers should be looking at a solid season this year.”
Participants in the JCOC polls have generally expressed prior interest in jewelry or have made past jewelry purchases.
The survey also found jewelry consumers looking at pricier options: Respondents said they favored fine jewelry over costume jewelry this season by a two-to-one margin.
In addition, more than half of respondents plan to shop both online and in-store, showing they will continue to comparison shop.
But Hurwitz says traditional jewelers should take heart from that result.
“That fits in with a lot of other things we are seeing in the marketplace, including the maxing out of online retailers,” he says. “People aren’t interested in just shopping online. They want to make it more of an experience. The Millennials in particular want it to be a romantic experience.”
But he adds that retailers need to unify their brick-and-mortar and online experience, given how many consumers will be scouting both.
One other cautionary note: Consumers remain focused on bargains. Some 52 percent said discounts would be very important this holiday season.