New York, NY—Apparently consumers are feeling the need to add some sparkle to their sweats. Image: Blogger Lesley Anne Murphy describes herself as someone who lives in yoga pants—and jewelry.
In addition to surging sales of household necessities, home décor, and athleisure apparel during the pandemic, fashion news site Fashionista is reporting a surge in online fine jewelry sales.
For instance, fashion shopping site Moda Operandi reported a 35% increase in fine jewelry sales over the same period last year, while a number of jewelry brands shared anecdotal evidence of sales being much stronger than anticipated, given some of the dire economic conditions. While many of those were DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands, Fashionista also cited other reports, such as in Women’s Wear Daily and Bloomberg, in which “bored rich people” were dropping as much as $500,000 online. Just this week, an article in the Los Angeles Times confirmed the trend, citing luxury designer brands such as Loree Rodkin, Roberto Coin and Lisa Nik. Apparently having nowhere to wear the pieces anytime soon hasn't been a deterrent: people are either going ahead with things they'd thought about for a while, or splurging on gifts, or simply reallocating dollars that were going to be spent for global travel. The LA Times also emphasized consumers' belief in fine jewelry as a worthwhile investment.
Moda Operandi research found its customers seem to view jewelry as an “investment” category that retains long-term value, making it very appealing in an uncertain environment. WWD, meanwhile, suggests consumers are connecting to the sentimental, emotional nature of fine jewelry—something our industry has emphasized all along.
Bored rich people aside, however, Fashionista says it’s more affordable items that are trending best. That aligns with The Centurion’s own findings: in its first survey during the pandemic, when more than 80% of better jewelers’ physical locations were closed, the majority who were still doing business reported their biggest sellers were small pick-me-ups and self-purchases.