Industry / Retail

Jewelry Sales Stayed Strong In March, Mastercard Says


With the post-COVID-19 “reopening” of the economy, some have predicted that the U.S. jewelry market will shrink in 2022. But it doesn’t look like we’re at that point yet.

In its regular monthly sales tally, Mastercard SpendingPulse said that jewelry sales in March 2022 rose 11.9% over sales for March 2021—an impressive jump that is, nevertheless, smaller than recent gains.

For instance, in February 2022, jewelry sales rose 22.4% over the prior year, SpendingPulse said.

Still, the overall jewelry market has grown substantially: March’s jewelry sales were up 78.8% over the pre-pandemic month of March 2019, the data service said.

Jewelry performed better in March than overall retail sales, which rose 8.4%. In a reversal of current trends, overall e-commerce sales slipped 3.3% from the prior year, while in-store sales gained 11.2%.

However, in another reversal of recent trends, jewelry underperformed the overall luxury market (excluding jewelry), which rose 27.1% over last year.

“Retail sales remain strong but are stabilizing as consumers resume spending on passion areas like travel, live entertainment, indoor dining, and other in-person activities,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc., in a statement. “After nearly two years of cautious optimism around the broader reopening, it’s a healthy sign that consumers are returning to a balanced level of spending across retail sectors and services.”

The month also saw healthy gains for industries hurt by the pandemic, including airlines (up 44.8% over the prior year), restaurants (up 19.1%), and lodging (up 46.4%).

SpendingPulse is Mastercard’s sales data service that measures retail sales across all forms of payment, including cash and checks.

(Photo: Getty)

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By: Rob Bates

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