Skip to main content Navigation

Articles and News

The Year In Review, Part 2: Retail |  December 27, 2021 (0 comments)


Merrick, NY—As we observed in the first installment of our annual recap, 2021 was a banner year for luxury jewelers. But a report jointly authored by Unity Marketing, Luxury Daily, and The Home Trust International says the luxury market in general—including jewelry—is entering a new era of “conscientious luxury,” as opposed to the conspicuous luxury that has been the driving force in luxury sales for the last 50 years or more. 

De Beers, meanwhile, launched a study showing consumers value “investment” purchases and are ready to splurge: “Fine jewelry took on a sharpened relevance in the pandemic context, leading to a surge in purchases of high-ticket classics and investment-grade watches, particularly the iconic models from leading brands such as Rolex.” 

Pandemic-induced behavioral changes are becoming permanently entrenched, particularly online shopping. It’s here to stay, even for high-ticket items. Look for more direct-to-consumer brands (Mejuri is one) and a continued explosion of secondhand luxury, where jewelry is the leading category of the market.

Luxury watches are another top category for secondhand retail, leading to higher prices and two major sellers, Timeless Luxury and Govberg’s/Watch Box, who announced expansions. Of course, that means more fake Rolexes also are on the market. Meanwhile, sought-after models of real Rolexes are harder and harder for jewelers to get, though the company says it’s not intentional.

Ardmore, PA-based Govberg Jewelers has shifted its focus to luxury watches.

Here’s a recap of news from some jewelers across the country.

Croghan’s Jewel Box of Charleston, SC, was lauded by Vogue readers as one of the nation’s top small retailers.

MorLyn’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts in Clanton, AL won the hearts of the community after donating a new wedding ring to a couple whose home was destroyed in a massive tornado. The couple was unharmed but all their possessions were lost, including the wife’s wedding ring.

Catbird, a jewelry boutique store and brand in Brooklyn, NY, was named to a nationwide list of favorite female-owned businesses.

Orloff Jewelers in Fresno, CA, was named the Central Valley's Best Jeweler by CVLUX California Vibe Magazine.

Dallas, PA jeweler Elva Valentine, owner of Valentine’s Fine Jewelry, was named one of 31 Women In Power by Dress for Success in nearby Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Two venerable names become one: Gunderson’s Jewelers bought Minneapolis-based JB Hudson Jewelers from the billionaire Pohlad family, a conglomerate that owns a variety of businesses including the Minnesota Twins baseball team. The sale occurred in March; in September it was announced that the flagship JB Hudson store in downtown Minneapolis would close December 31. But Gunderson’s will be moving both staff and inventory to a brand-new store in Wayzata, MN, early in 2022. 

The flagship JB Hudson store is closing December 31.

Zadok Jewelers opened a glittering new 28,000-square foot jewelry and watch store in Houston, TX, garnering attention from multiple trade and consumer publications. 

Zadok's new 28,000 square-foot store.

Padis Jewelers opened a Breitling co-branded wine tasting bar in its Napa store, combining both family businesses: wine and jewelry.

Famed Hollywood jeweler Martin Katz announced plans to expand into other luxury lifestyle categories.

Signet, meanwhile, started making moves into the affordable luxury and designer jewelry market, putting upscale independents in its competitive crosshairs. Its Jared division also is focusing on expanding custom design. Its stock has been on the upswing and is currently a darling of the investor community, especially after announcing plans to acquire Diamonds Direct and raising guidance.

Tiffany surprised everyone when it popped up in bright yellow on Rodeo Drive. Initially thought to be an April Fool’s Day joke, it was in fact no joke but created to help promote the famed Tiffany Yellow diamond (later photographed on Beyoncé, who along with husband Jay-Z is a new face of Tiffany). Expect to see more of the color.

Long’s Jewelers in Boston opened the nation’s largest Rolex boutique, at 3,500 square feet, while Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, DC opened the nation’s first Rahaminov boutique, below:

Next-gen Joseph Corey was promoted to president of Day’s Jewelers, an eight-store AGS jewelry chain headquartered in Maine. He’s the third generation of Coreys to work at the store; his parents are co-owners Jeff and Kathy Corey. 

Joseph Corey

While Nancy Marchell, owner of Signature Jewelers in Grand Forks, ND, watched other businesses close at the height of the pandemic lockdowns, she forwarded her phone, put a note on the door, and became a personal jeweler by default. It’s worked so well that she’s keeping the new appointment-only business model.

NC-based Bailey’s opened a Los Angeles outpost: an appointment-only showroom in LA’s Hill Street diamond district. Tapper’s in Michigan, meanwhile, is starting construction on a freestanding location.

A Plumb Club study found a retailer’s website is the number-one influencer for jewelry purchases.

San Antonio, TX-based Shetler Fine Jewelers acquired Medlars Jewel Masters, a business that restores, designs, and manufactures fine jewelry, after its owner retired. The two stores have worked together for more than seven years, and the Medlars team of jewelers was transferred to Shetler Fine Jewelers.

Watches of Switzerland acquired three Betteridge stores: Aspen and Vail, CO, and Greenwich, CT. The Palm Beach, FL Betteridge remains in the family. WOS also acquired the Ben Bridge store in Mall of America near Minneapolis, and Timeless Luxury Watches in Texas. 

Mayor’s Jewelers reported sales doubling to $409 million, spurred by additional disposable income.

National Jeweler magazine inducted four retailers into its Hall of Fame: in the category of Multi-Store Independent were Marie Helene Reinhold, owner of Reinhold Jewelers, with five stores in Puerto Rico; and Terry Betteridge, CEO of Betteridge Jewelers, with stores in Connecticut, Florida and Colorado. In the category of Single-Store Independent, Dan and Hope Wixon, owners of Wixon Jewelers in Minneapolis, MN were inducted.

Share This:

Leave a Comment:

Human Check