Jewelry purchases may face stiff competition this holiday season

Half of consumers who responded to a recent Internet survey said they plan to spend up to $300 on entertaining this holiday season, with another quarter expecting to dole out $1,000 or more on Christmas cheer. More then a quarter of respondents plan to travel for the holidays, while another quarter is looking to make home improvements, with 66 percent planning to spend more than $500. These purchases are competing for holiday discretionary dollars that could be going to fine jewelry and watch gifts.

These are among the findings of the most recent Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council, a division of MVI Marketing.

However, Elizabeth Chatelain, president of MVI Marketing, said savvy jewelry marketers could divert these consumers toward their products. There is greater interest in fine jewelry and watch purchases among JCOC respondents this year, according to the 2,792 persons who responded to the survey, with over a quarter planning to purchase these products for the holidays, up from 21 percent at this time in 2005. Almost three quarters of respondents are intending to spend between $100 and $1,000 on jewelry.  In fact, almost a third say they expect to spend more on jewelry gifts than they did last year.

Chatelain says jewelers should include niche markets in their efforts, such as men, youth, and female self-purchasers—sorely overlooked for add-on sales last holiday season. She also notes that the peak sales period runs from Black Friday through the second week of December.

JCOC is a U.S. and Canadian e-panel of consumers who represent all ages, genders, income levels, buying categories, and geographic regions.