Merrick, NY—The 2017 holiday shopping season is off to a roaring start for luxury jewelers. Almost 60% of respondents to the Centurion Holiday Sales Success Index reported sales for the first 10 days of the season are up over last year. Of that group, half reported sales jumped significantly—10% or more—from the same period last year.
19% of total respondents reported the first 10 days of the season was on par with the same period last year, while 22% said the season was off to a slow start with sales dipping anywhere from slightly to significantly, especially among jewelers in regions hard-hit by the fall hurricanes and wildfires.
“This was a tough fall for our nation,” wrote one respondent. “The devastating hurricanes, fires, and the mass shootings really took an emotional toll on a lot of people. I definitely think this had a large effect on our industry across the board.”
But another respondent believes the opposite is true: in such situations, people comfort themselves with "retail therapy," by spending money on material objects to bring joy, he said.
Holiday sales are off to a promising start, according to The Centurion Holiday Sales Success Index.
Most better jewelers went into the holiday season feeling optimistic already. Almost half (48%) reported sales for the fall season in total—Labor Day through Wednesday, November 22—were up over last year, and more than one-fourth of total respondents (26%) said sales were up 10% or more over the same period last year. But 30% (including those in weather-beaten areas) reported the fall season was down, and 22% said it was even with last year.
For many prestige jewelers, the auspicious beginning to the holiday season comes on top of a solid fall.
Jewelers aren’t the only ones feeling optimistic. CBS News reported on December 1 that Macy’s will quickly hire an additional 7,000 seasonal associates, mostly part-time, to assist with stronger-than-expected shopper traffic. The new hires will work on the sales floor and fulfill online and in-store pick-up orders and do other operational jobs.
The National Retail Federation last month said it anticipates holiday 2017 sales (all channels) will increase between 3.6% and 4% over last year, while Adobe Analytics predicts online shopping specifically will increase by 14% this year.
CBS says Macy’s needs a good holiday. Like many of its department store peers, the retailer has been hit hard by a shift toward spending for experiences rather than clothing and other tangible goods. And when consumers do buy clothes, increasingly it’s on Amazon or at off-price discounters like TJ Maxx. Indeed, Cyber Monday 2017 was Amazon’s biggest shopping day ever, surpassing its record-setting Prime Day in July.
Amazon isn’t always the independent retailer’s enemy. A significant percentage of those sales figures came from small businesses and entrepreneurs selling through Amazon, says the company.