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June 2007

The desire and willingness among women to make fine jewelry self-purchases remains strong, according to a study by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC), which is a division of MVI Marketing.

However, this fashion-forward woman does not seem to be shopping in traditional jewelry stores, the survey found. Instead, not surprisingly, more are buying in department stores and mass merchants, where jewelry is sold more often as a fashion accessory.

Most women in the study said that there doesn’t need to be a reason or special occasion for them to want to buy pieces of jewelry for themselves, especially if something particularly catches their eye while shopping. More than two-thirds of respondents said they purchased jewelry for themselves in the past, and 16 percent plan to do so in the next six months.

“To capture more of the self-purchase market, fine jewelers need to remind consumers to consider themselves when making purchases for others,” says Elizabeth Chatelain, president of MVI Marketing. “More creative marketing, such as a ‘Celebrate Me’ in-store event, can get consumers thinking about a self-purchase and could be scheduled during months when consumers traditionally buy less fine jewelry to boost sales.”

While a majority of nearly 80 percent buys jewelry for themselves whenever they see something they like, nearly three quarters do it for their birthdays, and more than half do it to celebrate an accomplishment or while shopping for others. And, consumers are prepared to spend money on fine jewelry for themselves, so pay special attention to the $500- $1,000 range, as JCOC panelists cited a preference for these price points.

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