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Oct. 2001

According to Jewelers of America’s annual Cost of Doing Business Survey, diamond jewelry and loose diamonds accounted for 46% of all sales for retail jewelers last year.

The survey, based on confidential questionnaires completed by 400 JA members, revealed that overall sales growth increased 3.3% in 2000. This marked the tenth straight year that sales grew for jewelers. It was, however, a significant drop in growth from the previous year, when sales showed a staggering increase of 10.5%.

As in previous years, diamond and diamond jewelry sales dramatically led other product categories. Gold jewelry comprised 11% of sales, colored stone jewelry marked 9% and watches represented just 4%. An additional 10% of sales were jewelry repairs.

Other findings of the survey included an overall decrease in gross margins to 47.4%, the lowest level since 1987; and a decrease in net profitability to 6.1% from 7.3%, reversing a four-year growth trend.

“While the industry’s growth has apparently slowed, we are pleased that JA members have fared well despite the economic slowdown,” said JA President and CEO Matthew A. Runci. “JA pledges to continue to help our members grow through cost-savings programs, educational endeavors, marketing initiatives and certification testing.”

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