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Structural changes occur in US Jewelry Industry during Q3

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NEW YORK (Scrap Register): Structural changes are occurring in the United States jewelry industry, making data on sales seemingly contradictory, said Metals Focus. 

The consultancy noted that the Jewelers Board of Trade reported that the number of retailers in the U.S. in the third quarter fell by 4% year-on-year and same-store sales by the largest retailer, Signet, were down 5%.

At the same time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported third-quarter jewelry sales rose 7% year-on-year, while Metals Focus reports a 6% year-on-year increase in quarterly gold-jewelry imports in fine weight terms.

“A recent field trip to the U.S. confirmed our view that a key driver of these variances is the structural changes that are affecting the U.S. jewelry retail space,” said the consultancy.

As with other sectors, online sales are booming, while out-of-town shopping malls (particularly smaller, lower-end malls) are suffering. Malls and more broadly, department stores, especially mid-tier, have been suffering as consumption splits between value shopping at the discounters and reward/experience shopping for brands.

As a result, published financial figures for individual companies may well provide little guide to the overall market. The structural changes may be reflected in the holiday shopping season, Metals Focus pointed out.

For instance, the rise in online sales and its expectations of next-day delivery have tended to make consumers more comfortable with last-minute purchases generally. This in turn makes sales forecasts more difficult, the consultancy added.

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