The Millennium has certainly gotten off to a positive start. Almost no one had anything bad to say about the past season.
While U.S. statistics say same-store sales leapt 6.6% this Christmas season, most articles and surveys said the jewelry industry surpassed that with double-digit gains. The Wall Street Journal said jewelry sales rose 11.8%, and singled it out as one of the season’s biggest categories, second only to “music, video and entertainment.”
The nation’s most famous jewelry chains, Zale and Tiffany, both had strong seasons. Zale’s sales rose 16.3% and Tiffany’s role 27%. Both numbers far exceeded analysts’ expectations.
The supply of certain diamonds was very tight, especially certified diamonds between 1.5 carats and three carats, and well-made goods.
Hopefully De Beers will increase the supply of those goods which are most in demand. While most of the market considered the first sight of the year small, a panel of analysts estimated it at around $600 million, or almost double the amount of last year’s. These analysts think De Beers is well on its way to breaking last year’s record sales. (The Russians, too, are expected to sell more into this “hot” market.”
E-commerce certainly made an impression this year, but despite all the hype (and advertising), jewelry web sites didn’t seem to grab a significant part of the market. Most sites still seem to be spending far more on advertising than they are taking in. Some articles noted luxury items overall did not make a big impression on the Internet. In a recent article detailing the big spenders in the industry, Ashford.com was the only jewelry site listed.