Online Jewelry, Watch Sales Down 10%

Jewelry and watch online sales fell 10 percent for the second quarter of 2008, according to comScore Inc.

Overall, online retail sales grew 12 percent for the period to about $31 billion, according to the Reston, Va.-based company, which measures digital data. April was the strongest month for online sales with a 15 percent gain over the previous year. May saw 12 percent increase and June sales were up 11 percent.

Video Games, Consoles & Accessories remains one of a handful of high-performing online retail categories, rising 73 percent in Q2 2008 versus the same quarter year ago on the strength of consoles like the Nintendo Wii, comScore said. Furniture, Appliances & Equipment (up 65 percent) was another top performer, while Home & Garden (up 23 percent), Event Tickets (up 22 percent), and Sport & Fitness (up 21 percent) also performed significantly better than the average.

Other categories experiencing sales declines for the period included Flowers, Greetings & Miscellaneous Gifts ( down 10 percent), Computers, Peripherals & PDAs (down 11 percent), Toys & Hobbies (down 11 percent), and Music, Movies & Videos (down 20 percent). 

“With the first round of the government’s economic stimulus checks having been mailed in early May, one would have hoped they would have bolstered online spending in May and June,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “However, recent comScore research reveals that fully two thirds of consumers said they had not planned to spend their stimulus checks and rather intended to use the cash to pay off debt or put the money into savings, a finding we’ll be taking a closer look at during next week’s webinar. In addition, it’s likely the impact of the stimulus may have been felt more offline, where a variety of merchants made it particularly easy for consumers to cash their checks at retail stores.”