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Another Reason Why The Holiday Shopping Season Needed To Start By October 11 October 13, 2021 (0 comments)


Merrick, NY—Consumers might grouse about seeing Christmas decorations in stores already, but both retailers and shoppers need to get moving if they want their pick of holiday gifts. Jewelers are again poised to enjoy a stellar holiday season in 2021, predicts data from Mastercard SpendingPulse™, but the company last month advised jewelers kick off their holiday-season selling by October 11. That’s a big change for jewelers who often do some of their best business and make their biggest sales in the final days before Christmas, including Christmas Eve.

SpendingPulse is especially bullish on jewelry this year. “’Tis the season for splurging: Fueled in part by pent-up savings and government stimulus, consumers have the desire and the means to spend. Over the last six months, the Luxury retail and Jewelry sectors have been experiencing some of the strongest YOY and YO2Y growth; that is anticipated to continue through the holidays,” the company said in September. 

Pent-up demand is great news—if the goods are there to satisfy the demand. And this year, that’s not necessarily a given. Supply chain snafus that have been a bane of existence for retailers throughout the pandemic show little evidence of abating before the holidays, and jewelers are not immune. Earlier this year, the severe COVID-19 outbreak in India impacted diamond centers in Surat and Mumbai, and analysts there predicted a 10%-20% drop in polished diamond production. 

Sheryl Cook, president of Tom Cook Jeweler, a high-end jeweler and Rolex dealer in Daytona Beach, FL, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that the store is well-stocked for the holidays, but warned that once certain items are sold, the jeweler might not be able to restock them until after the holidays.

"We are suggesting that customers put things on layaway and that our special orders are now taking a good month to a month-and-a-half longer than normal." Cook told the paper.

Related: Spending Data Says Jewelers Should Enjoy Another Huge Holiday Season Starting In October

The monthly Global Port Tracker report released jointly last week by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates warned that congestion at the nation’s largest retail ports and shortages of truck drivers has slowed the movement of backed-up cargo here, piling more delays onto those resulting from COVID-19 infections in Asia that slowed production and shipping. 

Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy, said, “Ships will eventually get unloaded but the pressure is on for everyone to work together to get the containers out as quickly as possible. Retailers are doing whatever it takes to make sure shelves are well-stocked for the holidays, from bringing in merchandise earlier to chartering their own ships. Consumers should be able to find what they need, but it’s always safer to shop early than wait until the last minute.”

Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett added, “From power outages and port shutdowns in Asia to backed-up ships and shortages of truck drivers in the United States, there are few positive signs that the movement of consumer goods or the supply of inputs needed for industrial production is getting better.”

Even if jewelry isn’t sitting in port in a container, getting the goods from the supplier to the retailer, or the retailer to the customer, is going to be a bigger challenge this year. The U.S. Postal Service already warned that shipping is going to be slower and more expensive this holiday season. A flood of shippers flocking to other couriers like UPS and FedEx may impact their on-time deliveries as well.

All this points to reasons why jewelers need to nudge their normally last-minute customers now and urge them to come in sooner, rather than later, this year.

Top image: Pixabay

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