Survey of analysts reports lackluster holiday season for jewelry

A survey of retail and real estate analysts, conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers, shows that jewelry and sporting goods will be among the poorest performers this holiday season. The same analysts ranked electronic products, books, CDs, and movies to be among the top performers this season.

The survey is conducted annually by ICSC. This year more than 40 analysts participated. Overall, analysts say that non-auto retail holiday sales are expected to increase by 2.1%. The estimates ranged from 5% to –2% with a median of 2%. Last year analysts predicted a 1.1% increase in holiday sales.

Discount stores, warehouse clubs, big box/category-killers, and online retailer will capture more of the total holiday sales in 2002 then it did the previous year, according to the survey. Specialty stores, factory outlets, and catalog/TV shopping will capture the same amount of total holiday sales than the previous year while department stores will capture less of the total holiday sales than the previous year.

Low interest rates and mortgage refinancing were most frequently cited by the analysts as positive influences on consumer spending, according to the ICSC survey. A continued emphasis on family and home, seasonal weather, and value pricing/widespread promotions were also named as factors that would positively influence spending.