Profile of the Offline Jewelry Buyer

Forty percent of Americans purchased jewelry last year, according to results of a study conducted recently by Unity Marketing, Stevens, Pa. “Luxury Purchase Behavior: The Psychology of Discretionary Spending” examines American’s discretionary spending power as it relates to 27 different product categories, including jewelry.* Top reasons consumers make discretionary purchases include improving lifestyle, deriving pleasure from certain products, and beautifying homes.

Some 45% of women purchase jewelry annually, according to the study, while only 33% of men do likewise. Generation Xers trail closely behind baby boomers in their likelihood of making annual jewelry purchases. Forty-three percent of households with jewelry buyers have at least three inhabitants. Another 43% of jewelry buyers surveyed have children in their households. (Unity Marketing maintains that the presence of children in a household is not statistically linked to the purchase incidence of jewelry in this study; however, data from a 1999 JCK survey suggest that childless consumers spend more.)

Jewelry shoppers also are more likely to buy other discretionary products, including books, videotapes, candles, home textiles, and soaps.

The complete study is available from Unity Marketing, (717) 336-1600.

* Methodology: Unity Marketing derives its research from a series of focus groups conducted among middle- to upper-income consumers and a telephone survey among a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. households. This report examines consumer purchase incidence in 27 different product categories defined as discretionary, such as books, videos, CDs, art, collectibles, home computers, home décor, flowers and gardening, jewelry and tabletop, with the prime demographic characteristics of each category’s consumers defined.