Merrick, NY—More than two thirds of respondents to The Centurion Valentine’s Day Sales Success Index spot-check survey of better fine jewelers reported a solid holiday, with one third of jewelers surveyed indicating their Valentine’s Day sales grew 10% or more year-on-year.
Overall, 67% of respondents reported total sales gains ranging from modest (1% to 5%) to significant (more than 10%). 14% said Valentine’s Day sales in 2017 were on par with 2016. Overall, only 19.4% reported lower sales this year for the holiday than last year.
More than half of respondents (53%) said their average ticket was higher as well. 15% said it was lower and about one third of jewelers surveyed (32%) said it was about the same as previous years.
The prevailing Valentine’s Day sales trend among luxury jewelers this year was bigger ticket items. Sales of popular inexpensive lines such as Alex & Ani gave way to diamonds and more costly items, and two respondents, one in Utah and one in California, said it was their best Valentine’s Day ever.
How Was Your Total Valentine's Day Business Compared To 2016?
Luxury jewelers overwhelmingly reported overall improved Valentine's Day sales year-on-year.
30% cited diamonds (ex-engagement rings) as their best-selling product for the holiday. This included everything from studs to “by the yard’ chain and other necklaces. 15% did best with engagement rings, for a total of 45% gaining a majority of their Valentine sales from some kind of diamond jewelry.
Another 15% cited Pandora as a strong seller. Sterling silver jewelry and Rolex also performed well, as did David Yurman jewelry.
Year-On-Year Comparison of Average Ticket For Valentine's Day
More than half of jewelers surveyed by The Centurion reported their average Valentine's Day ticket was higher than in 2016.
The sweet-spot price point remains under $1,000, but edged up over previous years. For 2017, respondents were evenly split between those reporting under $500 as their strongest price point, and those who cited $500-$1,000. In prior years, the “under $500” category was clearly stronger. Also this year, the number of jewelers whose strongest price category for the holiday fell between $1,001 and $2,500 was the strongest The Centurion has recorded in years, and for a few lucky jewelers, big engagement rings ($5000+ and $10,000+) pushed their Valentine sales over the top.
The two biggest sales trends cited by respondents this year were engagement rings and earrings, especially diamond studs. As mentioned above, higher tickets were common, and in a twist on the holiday, there was a noticeable uptick in self-purchase, said jewelers. There also was a noticeable trend toward lower foot traffic, with sales migrating online—or the higher tickets making up for the lower volume.