Mastercard SpendingPulse, which has reported rising jewelry sales for the first nine months of 2022, recently said that jewelry sales dropped in October, a sign that the COVID-19 era of regular sales gains may finally be over.
The sales measurement service reported that jewelry sales in October 2022 dropped 3.8% compared to the prior year, though sales were still up a whopping 34.1% over October 2019, prior to the pandemic.
SpendingPulse previously reported that jewelry sales in September rose 6.9% over September 2021, and a whopping 67.7% over September 2019. It also said that jewelry sales in August rose a very healthy 17.5% over the prior year.
SpendingPulse, which garners data from credit card transactions and other sources, predicted that jewelry sales will rise a modest 2.2% this holiday.
Tenoris, the new jewelry sales measurement company, also found that jewelry sales fell in October, but it pegged the number at 11%, with a 12% drop in the number of units. Tenoris has generally been more bearish about jewelry sales than SpendingPulse, finding that sales have decreased for the past six months.
However, analyst Edahn Golan noted that, while the days of big gains may be in the past, the jewelry market is a lot healthier than it used to be.
“Don’t let the declines create an impression of a down market,” he wrote. “Compared to 2019, the last ‘ordinary’ year the jewelry industry had, sales this year outperformed 2019 every single month. This is a positive outcome for the market.”
He wrote that chain necklaces and fashion rings were the best-performing item at retail for the first 10 months of the year, with chains capturing a 13.7% market share as far as units, and fashion rings generating 13.5% of total revenue.
In its most recent earnings call, Brilliant Earth CEO Beth Gerstein agreed that the retail environment had become more “challenging” in October.
“We’re not ready to call it a trend just yet,” she said, “but it is something that we’re overall watching.”
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