Perhaps it won’t be a banner Valentine’s Day for jewelers this year.
Jewelry sales leading up to the holiday are expected to increase 2.2 percent—far below the nearly 5 percent increase in 2012—according to a survey by research firm IBISWorld.
The study cites the higher payroll taxes resulting from the government’s “fiscal cliff” negotiations and fewer tax breaks as reasons consumers are likely to make fewer expensive purchases this Valentine’s Day. IBISWorld forecasts that jewelry sales will hit only $1.6 million.
“Although overall spending will increase slightly, consumers are still watching their wallets, and spending on expensive items will suffer as a consequence,” said IBISWorld industry analyst Lauren Setar in a statement. “Due to these trends, Valentine’s Day purchases are expected to trend toward conventional gifts, giving candy and flowers an edge this year.”
The study found that Valentine’s Day jewelry sales overall are expected to increase 3.2 percent over 2012. The average expenditure is expected to be $134.08, a slight bump from last year’s $133.99. Spending on candy and sending flowers should see substantial gains.
Last week, a survey by the National Retail Federation predicted that Valentine’s Day jewelry demand could hit its highest level in the last seven years. The survey found that 19.7 percent of consumers plan to buy jewelry on Feb. 14, and overall jewelry spending is expected to hit $4.4 billion.
The jewelers JCK contacted say it’s too early to tell what kind of sales to expect.
Jonathan Green, coproprietor of AAA Gold & Jewelry in Plant City, Fla., says his store didn’t have the post-Christmas drop-off he expected and that sales have been steady. “I probably won’t notice an increase until this week, more than likely,” he says.
“Our stores are reporting some window-shopping for Valentine’s, and ladies filling out their ‘gotta have it’ lists, says Rebecca L. Spaid, director of marketing for AmRhein’s in Virginia. “With Valentine’s falling on Thursday of next week, men will shop next week and especially Wednesday and Thursday.”
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