There is an article over at Market Watch (click here to read the article in its entirety) that mentions J.Crew and its success with their Jewelry Collection.
Upscale jewelry shows surprising signs of lifeWhat are your thoughts on the article? Do you agree or disagree with any of the points made?
By Andria Cheng
December 18, 2009
It's considered among the most non-essential items that shoppers can do without, and yet it may turn out to be a winner this holiday season. As retailers across the board are still struggling to get consumers to spend beyond what they need, affluent consumers are giving a troubled sector -- jewelry -- a ray of hope.
Average jewelry spending by shoppers with minimum household incomes of $100,000 jumped 31%, to $4,813, in the third quarter from a year earlier, compared against declines of more than 30% each for clothing and for fashion accessories including shoes and handbags, according to Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing. The consultancy surveyed 1,000 luxury shoppers.
...On the one hand, jewelry shops that are more upscale are seeing fewer customers, he said. But those shoppers are spending more as they wanted fewer gifts they are buying to be "special."
...Customers "are looking to be charmed," said Judy Collinson, an executive vice president and women's general manager at Barneys. "They want fine quality. They want things that are beautiful and have meaning and humor."
..."Luxury fine jewelry purchases that weren't made earlier this year were made again," said Saks Chief Executive Steve Sadove in an interview. "Luxury consumers are starting to feel a little better."
Retailers operating in non-traditional channels have also seen strength in jewelry.
Hautelook, an online retailer of designer labels through limited-time sales events, said growth in its jewelry and watch category compared to earlier this year is outpacing the company average.
HSN Inc., formerly known as Home Shopping Network, said third-quarter jewelry unit growth is up 13%, including a 30% increase each in silver pieces and fashion jewelry."To get a great ring or necklace that updates your outfit is something that our customer is treating herself," said HSN CEO Mindy Grossman in an interview, adding the television and online shopping network has added more exclusive designer collections. "We are encouraged in the momentum of jewelry."
Upscale specialty retailer J.Crew Group Inc. said jewelry has also been a "growing category" as it has expanded its jewelry collection from necklaces and chunky bracelets to semi-precious stones and cocktail rings.
J.Crew earlier this year opened an accessories room in its SoHo store in New York, which the company said has become a destination of its own.
"It's a great conversation piece," said spokeswoman Margot Fooshee. "It's a really nice way to add something to your outfit." ...