Jewelry wholesalers hardest hit, group says
The U.S. jewelry business shrank again in 2015, according to Jewelers Board of Trade statistics, though the pace of consolidation ebbed in the fourth quarter.
According to the group, 2015 saw 1,082 U.S. jewelry business discontinuances, compared to 973 in 2014, an 11 percent jump. The (somewhat) good news is that the number of discontinuances stayed flat in the fourth quarter, with both years registering 238 business discontinuances.
Looking at listings for both the U.S. and Canada, the story is mostly the same: There were 1,114 jewelry business discontinuances in North America in 2015, a 10.3 percent jump over 2014.
“Business discontinuances” is the JBT’s overarching category for companies that ceased operations, consolidated through a sale or merger, or filed for bankruptcy.
The numbers also showed greater consolidation in the wholesale sector than others.
Overall, 143 North American jewelry wholesalers discontinued their businesses in 2015, compared to 112 the prior year, a 27.7 percent jump. Retailers also withstood heavy shrinkage—911 jewelry stores called it quits in North America last year, compared to 810 in 2014, a 12.5 percent jump. The statistics for jewelry manufacturers showed significant improvement, however, with only 60 discontinuing their businesses, compared to 88 the prior year.
Of course, along with companies exiting the industry, other companies entered it. Overall, 292 new North American jewelry businesses joined the industry in 2015, compared to 265 the prior year, a 10.2 percent jump. Those numbers comprise 230 retailers, 41 wholesalers, and 21 manufacturers.
The total number of JBT listings for North America at the end of 2015 stands at 29,352, versus 30,155 for the prior year, a 2.7 percent dip. Listings in all categories showed about equal declines, including retailers (21,962 in 2015, down 2.8 percent from the prior year), wholesalers (4,355 in 2015, down 2.2 percent from prior year), and manufacturers (3,035, down 2.4 percent from the prior year).
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