Retailers contacted by JCK say that summer sales have fallen below expectations—but they have higher hopes for fall and winter.
“This summer we’ve been a lot slower than expected,” says Heather Kutzman, owner of Artisan Jewelry Co. in Sharpsburg, Ga. “The season was more focused on repair work rather than retail sales.”
Repairs were also a boon to Frank D. Goodale of F.D. Goodale Jewelers in Camden, S.C.
“Sales started off great in the spring, but then they plummeted,” he says. “It’s definitely been a slow summer. Repairs, however, have been steady. I am trying to do as many repairs as possible.”
William Craig of Craig’s Fine Jewelry in Ridgefield, Conn., also found the season somewhat disappointing.
“June sales were up, but July sales were down,” he says. “Customer traffic was slow in our area because a lot of people were away this summer. We’re hoping sales pick up when children go back to school.”
Winter, however, seemed more promising.
“We’re optimistic,” Kutzman says. “We did have an amazing spring and recently sales have been on the upswing with the back to school season.”
Still, some retailers are hesitant to make quick predictions. “I am optimistic about this winter, but it is an election year,” Craig says. “Once the election is over we’ll have to see where it goes from there.”
Added Goodale: “This holiday season depends on the election and the overall economy. There’s so many intangibles and unfortunately no one has a crystal ball to predict if it is definitely going to be a strong winter season.”
The jewelers’ hopes are shared by many retailers. According to Capital Business Credit, more than three-fourths of retailers surveyed believe that this coming fall and winter seasons will be stronger than last year.