NRF Says Jewelry is Hot

Jewelry companies are well-represented among STORES magazine’s 2008 Hot 100 Retailers list. Tiffany, Blue Nile, Finlay Enterprises, and Birks & Mayors were considered among the fastest growing retailers in 2007.

The four companies reported a combined year-over-year revenue growth in 2007 of 14.6 percent, according to the annual ranking, which was published in the August issue of the official publication of the National Retail Federation.

Blue Nile, with its 16th ranking, leads jewelry retailers in sales growth. The Seattle-based Internet diamond and jewelry retailer reported a year-over-year increase in sales of 23.8 percent for 2007. Tiffany, making the list at 45, comes in second among jewelers with sales growth of 14.8 percent for 2007.

Finlay Enterprises, which reported a $10.3 million loss in 2007, landed on the list at number 52, reporting sales growth of 13.1 percent for the year. Birks & Mayors rounds out the list among jewelry companies at 93, reporting a 7 percent sales gain in 2007.

Among retailers that include jewelry in their product mix, Saks, which ranks 58th on the list, reported an 11.7 increase in sales in 2007, followed by Neiman Marcus at 75, with an 8.9 percent growth in sales. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, reported an 8.6 percent growth in sales, which placed the company at 80 on the list.

Overall, 2007 retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 3.3 percent unadjusted over 2006, according to NRF, the slowest industry retail growth since 2002.

All public companies with more than $100 million in sales were eligible for the 2008 Hot 100 Retailers list, which provides a definitive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing retailers. This is the third year for the list.

“Regardless of merchandise selection or customer base, the fastest-growing retailers know who they are and what their shoppers want,” said Rick Gallagher, STORES Publisher. “Retailers of all sizes have something to learn from the ingenuity and perseverance of this year’s Hot 100 Retailers.”

Topping the list was CVS Caremark with a sales gain of 74.2 percent in 2007; followed, in order, by Rite Aid (39.8 percent), IHOP (38.6 percent), Amazon.com (38.5 percent), American Apparel (35.8 percent), Coldwater Creek (33.8 percent), GameStop (33.4 percent), BJ’s Restaurants (32.3 percent), Chipotle Mexican Grill (31.9 percent), and FTD (31.8 percent).