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Valentine’s Day Was Strong For Better Jewelers, But Momentum Dips Slightly From Christmas |  February 16, 2021 (0 comments)


Merrick, NY—Coming off the strongest holiday season ever, coupled with repeated surveys showing diamond sales benefiting from unspent travel dollars, jewelers were justified in expecting a very strong Valentine’s Day. Image: Karolina Grabowska for Pixabay.

For about 61% of better jewelers, that optimism was justified, with 50% reporting sales gains of 10% or more over last year’s holiday, according to The Centurion’s 2021 Valentine’s Day Sales Success Index survey. Another 11% of respondents posted moderate sales gains between 6% and 10% year-on-year.

But for those that didn’t do well with Valentine’s Day sales this year, the decreases were significant: 28% were down 10% or more year-on-year.

Compare these figures to The Centurion’s 2020 final holiday season sales survey, in which 65% of respondents bested their prior year’s totals by 10% or more, and only 6% were off by 10% or more. 

Still, jewelers have a reason to smile, because tickets were up. Valentine’s Day is typically a much lower spend than Christmas, and in prior years’ Centurion studies, the majority of jewelers consistently said their best-selling price points were under $500 or between $500 and $1,000. This year, those edged up: one third of jewelers said their strongest price points were between $500 and $1,500. 22% each said it was between $1,501 and $2,500, between $2,501 and $5,000, or with the traditional low-cost gifts under $500.

44% of respondents said their best-selling products for the holiday were diamond fashion gifts, followed by engagement rings (33%) and diamond earrings (28%). 22% said other bridal or anniversary rings were strong sellers and, unlike Christmas when silver was not a popular gift last year, 22% did well with silver jewelry for the holiday. (Respondents could choose multiple answers).

Jewelers were evenly divided in their opinion about how the pandemic impacted Valentine’s Day sales. Although the majority did well for Valentine’s Day, half felt the ongoing pandemic still hurt their Valentine’s Day sales, but the other half thought it helped by diverting consumers’ share of wallet to jewelry. 

For jewelers, despite all the pundit talk about an online paradigm shift due to the pandemic, most respondents to the Centurion survey didn’t see much difference from prior years. Only about 12% said they sold “much more” merchandise online than prior Valentine holidays, but 56% said they either sold a little more or saw no significant shifts from prior years. But about one fourth did feel that customers are doing more pre-shopping online before making their final purchase in person.

Finally, in the broader retail picture, U.S. retail sales in January came in much higher than analysts' forecasts, surging 5.3% vs. an expected 1.2%.

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