Wednesday, December 23, 2009

J.Crew News: Getting Jewelry This Season? ;)

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 life
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."
What are your thoughts on the article? Do you agree or disagree with any of the points made?


  1. Final sale? Hmm. It's not as though there have been further markdowns to balance the the risk of FS.

    As for jewelry, of my two JC purchases, I'm happy with one but the other is a total POS--cute design but simply terrible quality. I'm still on the skeptical list.

  2. Strange article. I don't consider the costume jewelry at JCrew or HSN to be "upscale jewelry."

  3. personally i don't wear a ton of jewelry myself...but it is really hard for me to justify spending $50+ on a piece of jewelry that's not even real...

  4. If it's Final Sale, aren't they supposed to mark down the sale items further?? Is that coming in the wee hours of the morning?

  5. I like a lot of J.Crew jewelry but my purchases have been hit or miss as far as longevity, and that is why I only purchase it on sale. I have had numerous pieces that have tarnished and even had the *gold* completely rub off of a bracelet. To me that is F21 quality and if J.Crew wants to sell at a much higher price point they need to make sure the pieces aren't going to be *disposable* like jewelry from F21 is.

  6. Sharon,
    I prefer the real stuff too:) It can be found at great prices as well. I just stay away from costume for the most part. JC is so overpriced!

  7. I love the JC jewelry..on SUPER SALE!! Darling but quality is maybe 2 notches above F21. SO totally not worth it until a couple of markdowns. Who are they fooling?

    Well, obviously..plenty.

  8. FFM and sweetsy, couldn't agree more. TERRIBLE that the finish rubs off my $125 bracelet like some F21 junk. At least F21 is priced like it's going to rub off after 3 wears.... So, like you, I only buy on super sale. Or 1st markdown, if I'm in love ;)

  9. I love just about every J.Crew jewelry purchase I've ever made, but the quality is nowhere near where it should be for the price point. The "gold" always rubs off in my experience, and not too long after purchase either! I've even had the rings turn my finger green a few times ;)

    I will make an exception for the earrings - I have 2 favorite pairs which I switch off between everyday and they are as perfect as the day I bought them. I wish some of the earrings weren't so heavy or I'd be adding more to my collection...

    OT I'm a little relieved that final sale is back, only because it means my credit card will be getting a reprieve. What annoys me is the number of items that disappeared after the last FS only to reemerge now that it's back - I guess not every customer would notice, but a JCA sure would!

  10. I'm not a big fan of costume jewelery and J.Crew's is too large-scale for my comfort level. Add in the inconsistent quality and it adds up to never even clicking on the jewelery link online, even in the sale section.

    Bazaar gave Susan Boyle a makeover and she's wearing a J.Crew necklace in the first pic. Not sure which item it is but it looks OK with the dress.

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And now back to J.Crew! :)