Industry / Retail

Small Gains Expected For Jewelry This Holiday


Mastercard’s SpendingPulse sales measurement service—which traditionally has been one of the industry’s biggest cheerleaders, showing huge jewelry sales during the pandemic—has predicted that jewelry sales will rise only 2% this holiday.

That’s less than retail sales as a whole, which it estimates will rise 7.5% at the end of 2021. It is also less than SpendingPulse’s expected increase for luxury sales as a whole (excluding jewelry), which it predicts will rise 4.4% this holiday (and 29.6% versus 2019). For most of the last few years, jewelry sales have outpaced those in the larger luxury category, as well as overall retail sales, according to SpendingPulse.

It’s a far smaller gain that SpendingPulse reported in holiday 2021, when it said jewelry sales rose 32%.

Regardless, the sales measurement service—which uses data from purchases from Mastercard combined with other sources—predicts that the jewelry business will still enjoy large gains compared to where it was prior to the onset of COVID-19. According to its estimates, holiday jewelry sales in 2022 will be up 33.4% compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

SpendingPulse defines the holiday season as the period between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24.

Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc., also said in a statement this holiday will be “far more promotional than the last.”`

The service did find healthy gains for jewelry in August, estimating that jewelry sales rose 17.5% over August 2021. That number is more than the gains for retail as a whole (where sales were up 11.7% year-over-year), as well as the larger luxury category (which posted a 3% sales decline from the prior year).

It’s also roughly comparable with the 18.6% gain for jewelry the service posted in July. However, that same month, Tenoris, a new jewelry industry sales data service, disagreed, finding that July jewelry sales declined 6.6% over the prior year.

Photo: Getty Images

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By: Rob Bates

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