Jewelry Most Heavily Discounted Category on Black Friday, Survey Says

We’re, uh, No. 1.

In an effort to sniff out the best deals on Black Friday, personal finance site WalletHub combed through 22 mass-merchant circulars. It will not shock JCK readers that jewelry was the most heavily discounted category, with an average 58 percent price cut.

The books, movies, and music category came in second. But those products are under siege from streaming and other digitial formats. With jewelry likely headed for a good holiday, what’s our excuse? 

Black Friday discounts.

Courtesy WalletHub

Kmart’s circulars trumpeted the steepest jewelry discounts—an average of 78.75 percent. Meijer followed closely with an average 78.67 percent discount. Kohl’s touted the lowest cuts, slashing jewelry items a mere 24 percent. (Full results here.)

Retailer jewelry discounts.

Courtesy WalletHub

A few years back, former J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson committed a retail blunder for the ages when he eliminated discounts. Shoppers stayed away in droves: It was like he was putting on binge eaters on a starvation diet. So this year, the now-crippled department store topped the list of Black Friday price-slashers, boasting an average 66 percent cut. 

Yet, when you look at these numbers, perhaps Johnson was on to something. It beggars belief that shoppers will be scooping up jewelry at 75 percent off its standard price—on Black Friday or any other day. According to a survey by another site, Nerdwallet, many Black Friday so-called deals simply duplicate prices offered at other times of the year.

At some point, these gimmicks may lose their effectiveness. But for now, retailers keep using them for a simple reason: They work.

JCK News Director