U.S. consumers spent $57.4 billion on jewelry and watches in 2004

In 2004, American consumers spent $57.4 billion buying jewelry and watches, a 6.9% increase over previous year, according to a report by a Dublin, Ireland-based market-research firm. As a category in the durable goods segment, jewelry and watches outperformed the overall durable goods sector, which only rose 4.7% by comparison.

Jewelry and watches were purchased by half of U.S. consumers in the past year, with ‘twenty-something’ to ‘fifty-something’ women with higher incomes representing the core target market, says the report, 2005 Update: The Who, What, Where, How Much and Why of Jewelry Shopping to their offering, published by Research and Markets.

For the last several years discounter Wal-Mart has been the nation’s top retailer of jewelry, despite the fact that the prime target market for jewelry — high-income women from 25 to 54 years — are the least likely of all consumers to shop for jewelry in discount channels, the report says.

“Jewelry is the ultimate luxury and today’s jewelry shopper is driven by an experiential passion that goes far beyond the item’s features and benefits — They buy jewelry based upon emotion, not reason,” the firm says.

To purchase the report, go to www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c14050/.