Merrick, NY—Affluent consumers were more than willing to shower Mom with jewelry this year, according to the results of an exclusive Centurion Newsletter survey of luxury jewelers. And while the total U.S. fine jewelry market grew by 6% according to the latest government report, luxury jewelry growth is far outperforming the standard.
More than 80% of Centurion survey respondents said their Mothers’ Day sales this year were up over 2011 figures. Of these, more than half (51.7%) of total respondents said the sales gain was “significant,” i.e., more than 10% over last year. 23.8% of the total said their sales increase was between 5% and 9%. About an equal number—9.5% each—said sales were even or lower than last year.
57.1% of Centurion survey respondents said their Mother's Day sales were up more than 10% over last year (orange slice). 23.8% said their sales grew between 5% and 9% (blue slice), while 9.5% each reported sales even (purple slice) or lower (green and red slices) than last year.
Almost two-thirds of respondents (61.9%) of respondents said their average ticket was higher this year, and more than half of respondents (52.6%) said their best selling price points were above $1,000. This is more than double the average ticket in non-luxury jewelry stores, where the typical Mother’s Day sale was less than $500, and it mirrors the trend for Valentine’s Day, where luxury jewelers’ sales also doubled the average. And, luckily for Mom, even at non-luxury jewelry stores, the average ticket was well above the $97.19 jewelry spend predicted by the National Retail Federation for this Mother’s Day.
61.9% of survey respondents said their average ticket this Mother's Day was higher than 2011 (orange slice). 28.6% reported their average ticket remained about the same as last year (purple slice), and 9.5% saw smaller transactions this Mother's Day than last year (blue slice).
But even though the overall trend was for higher spending at luxury jewelers, not every customer was ready to splurge this season. Though fewer than those reporting a four-digit average, a significant percentage (42.1%) of Centurion survey respondents said their best sellers for the holiday did fall in the price range below $500.
Unlike general industry reports showing a preference for diamonds this Mother’s Day, at luxury jewelers the holiday was all about fashion and design. Only 20% of prestige jewelry respondents cited diamond jewelry as their best-selling Mother’s Day gift, whereas 60% of respondents cited designer jewelry, colored gemstone jewelry, pearls, silver, or gold. Finally, another 20% said Pandora was their best-selling category for the holiday.
Writes one California jeweler, "We had a high-end trunk show that didn't produce sales for the pieces at the show, but had a great residual effect for lower price points. We also had lots of chocolates and flowing champagne, which helped so much we are going to keep a bottle on ice behind the counter every day!"
Separately, total U.S. jewelry sales rose 6% year-over-year in March, according to preliminary government figures released earlier this week. But with more than 50% of Centurion survey respondents posting sales gains of 10% or more for Mother’s Day, more than 40% reporting similar gains in our Valentine’s Day survey, and 55.5% of respondents to our recent bridal jewelry survey reporting their best-selling engagement ring prices also have rocketed, it’s clear that luxury jewelers are significantly outpacing the general market.