Survey: Jewelry Lagging Other Categories This Holiday

A new holiday survey from Nielsen shows consumer demand increasing for just about every gift category this holiday—but not jewelry.

“Except for jewelry, every category including toys, apparel, video games, books, cookware/kitchen, and sporting goods showed modest improvements in consumer plans to buy more than in years past,” said the Nielsen release.

Overall, Nielsen expects holiday sales to increase 2.3 percent.

If Nielsen’s survey is accurate, it may be because, despite rising consumer confidence, shoppers remain focused on useful items.

A new survey from BigInsight found that about half (49.5 percent) of consumers remain practical when purchasing—an increase from August, and about the same number as September 2011.

Otherwise, the news at retail has surpassed expectations, with both the Commerce Dept. and National Retail Federation finding September retail sales showing strong gains.

The U.S. Commerce Dept. reported that September retail sales (excluding autos, retail, and food services sales) rose 1.1 percent over August and 4.8 percent from the previous year—a number that beat analyst expectations and follows three months of declines.

The NRF found that September retail sales for the same categories increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from August, and 2.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“With recent data painting a more optimistic view of consumer confidence, we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement.

Sales of clothing and clothing accessories, the category that includes jewelry, increased 0.6 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 3.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the NRF said.