Online Holiday Jewelry, Watch Sales Down from 2006 Levels

Jewelry and watches, just last year the darlings of the e-commerce world, have fallen from its perch as one the fastest growing holiday sales categories.

Andrew Lipsman, an analyst with comScore, Inc., said jewelry and watch sales growth has dropped from 2006 record levels. The company, which measures digital data, doesn’t publicly release sales figures and so far it isn’t releasing sales percentage growth for the category.

“However, I can tell you that ‘jewelry & watches’ actually saw a year-over-year sales decline,” Lipsman told JCK.

In 2006, the “jewelry & watches” category grew 66 percent year-over-year, the biggest gain among all categories tracked by the Reston, Va.-based company. This high growth rate may have been one reason the category didn’t perform as well in 2007, Lipsman said.

“The declines are likely a function of two things,” he said. “First, jewelry & watches saw an unusually strong 2006 holiday season, meaning that any year-over-year growth this year is being calculated off a high base; Second, in an uncertain economy, consumers are likely to pull back on the purchase of luxury items, and jewelry & watches certainly falls under that domain.”

The “flowers, greeting cards, & gifts” category, tracked by comScore , was down 19 percent, Lipsman told The New York Times.

The “video games, consoles & accessories” category saw a 129 percent growth year-over-year as of Dec. 16, by far the biggest gain among categories tracked by comScore. Other category that saw large year-over-year growth as of Dec. 16 are:

* Furniture, Appliances & Equipment, 63%
* Event Tickets, 29%
* Consumer Electronics, 24%
* Apparel & Accessories, 17%

The figures from comScore excludes travel, auctions, and large corporate purchases.