Merrick, NY—Upscale jewelers were right on trend with a strong showing for Black Friday weekend, says a Centurion spot-check survey conducted Tuesday and Wednesday.
60% of respondents to the Centurion survey said their sales leading up to and including the weekend—incorporating Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday—were up from the same period last year, and 28% posted robust gains of more than 10%. 16% reported sales even with the same period last year. One fourth reported dips in sales for the period, but none of those jewelers reported double-digit declines of 10% or more.
“It was the best Black Friday we ever had!” said one respondent.
“One sapphire and diamond ring accounted for one-third of the day, but we had more sales than expected,” said a jeweler from Maine.
Another from Minnesota reinforced that success doesn’t walk in the door by itself. “We made a party with food and drinks and sent out a few emails to our client list, and people came.”
Additionally, half of all Centurion survey respondents reported their total business throughout October and November was significantly stronger than last year. “Our November business has been very strong, up approximately 20%,” said a jeweler from Michigan, while a Canadian jeweler in Vancouver noted a sharp uptick in bridal sales.
How Was Business For Black Friday Weekend (November 25-28) Compared To Last Year?
The majority of respondents to The Centurion's spot check survey of business for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday reported sales gains over the same period last year (aqua, orange, and dark gray bars). Among those, the majority (dark gray bar) experienced more than 10% growth in sales for the period.
About one-third of respondents said their total business for October and November was down compared to the same time last year. The stressful election season got the blame for that as several respondents cited it as having very likely hurt sales during the fall. Conversely, some jewelers observed shoppers seemed relieved and ready to spend once the election was over.
“October was down significantly. November almost made up for it, but not quite,” said one respondent. 16.7% of respondents reported October and November sales relatively unchanged from last year.
In the broader retail picture, sales results for the holiday weekend were also strong, and analysts feel it is a positive indicator for a good season overall.
According to the 2016 International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Thanksgiving/Black Friday Shopping Report, three-fourths of Americans spent the same or more this year than last year.
“While the holiday shopping season has lengthened and includes all of November and December, the Black Friday and Thanksgiving results are important, and this year serve as a positive indicator for the holiday season,” said ICSC President and CEO Tom McGee.
By Saturday, retailers were on track to smash records, and indeed they did. A report in TheStreet.com said online sales in particular for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday reached $5.27 billion, up 17.7% from last year, while Black Friday specifically set a record year-over-year increase of 21.3%. Cyber Monday, meanwhile, posted a 12.1% increase over last year, though the day is now not much farther ahead of Black Friday in terms of overall online sales.
Omnichannel retailers benefited the most, says a report on Businesswire.com. Retailers that have both physical and digital presences captured 89% of shoppers and 80% of the total money spent during Black Friday weekend. Only 18% of sales occurred with pure-play e-tailers.
Online ordering with in-store pickup proved to be a boon for retailers that offer the service, said the report. 28% of shoppers took advantage of it, and two-thirds of those consumers added additional purchases in the store when they went to retrieve the item they’d reserved online, translating to a 6% increase in sales.
While Black Friday is typically about bargain hunting, not luxury jewelry shopping, consumers’ increased confidence bodes well for prestige jewelers too.
Top image: InnovativeRetailTechnologies.com