SOURCE: Unity Marketing

October 01, 2007 07:50 ET

Jewelry Stores Make Strong Comeback in 2006

New Unity Marketing Study Finds That Shoppers Turned More Often to Specialty Jewelry Stores for Fine Jewelry and Watch Purchases

STEVENS, PA--(Marketwire - October 1, 2007) - In 2006 jewelry consumers' taste turned more upscale, and this was good news for specialty jewelry stores. After losing market share for several years to discounters and other more mass-market retailers, jewelry stores regained a full 50 percent share of the $62 billion jewelry and watch market. This is according to the "Jewelry and Watch Report, 2007," the newest report from Unity Marketing (www.unitymarketingonline.com)

"Jewelry stores made a real comeback in 2006," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of "Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience." "Jewelry shoppers, in their search for higher-quality merchandise and more fashion-forward designs, found that the service and expert advice available in jewelry stores was exactly what they needed. They were willing to trade up for service and experiences that they couldn't find in discount and warehouse retailers."

Danziger points to industry-leading Sterling Jewelers -- which includes more than 800 Kay Jewelers, 135 luxury-leaning Jared The Galleria of Jewelry stores, and 341 regional chains -- as a competitor that made the most of jewelry consumers' shift toward more specialty retail. "Sterling Jewelers reported 14.9 percent revenue growth in their most recent fiscal year to reach $2.7 billion in sales. This vaulted them into a new position as the nation's top jewelry store."

"The company's Jared stores were particularly noteworthy in contributing to corporate growth," Danziger notes. "Jewelry shoppers looking for a more luxurious experience appreciate a number of Jared's practices that set it apart from others in the jewelry retail space. For example, the stores offer dedicated managers for the diamond, watch, and gold and other jewelry departments, who provide specialized service and expertise to the customer. They also use such distinctive selling methods as 'white glove' presentation of watches, which really makes the buying experience memorable for the customer."

Jewelry shoppers demanding more specialized service from the stores where they shop

The shift toward more luxurious jewelry was good news not only for independent and chain jewelry stores. Department stores, especially those targeting the luxury space, such as Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstrom, and internet, mail order, television, and other non-store channels also benefited from the trend. On the other hand, discount department stores and other stores that couldn't deliver on jewelry shoppers' service expectations lost ground last year.

"Specialty jewelry stores are aggressively pursuing the jewelry marketplace, giving the consumer the individualized treatment, access to experts, and selection of unique merchandise they crave. This is something that consumers just aren't finding in the cookie-cutter selections at discount department stores," says Danziger.

"This is both an opportunity and a cautionary tale for those who hope to compete for a slice of the jewelry and watch market. Only by studying why people buy in this category and what successful jewelry retailers are doing well can other retailers hope to compete."

Unity Marketing has published a new study of the jewelry and watch market

Unity Marketing has just published a new study of the jewelry consumer market, entitled "Jewelry & Watch Report, 2007." It combines the results of in-depth qualitative focus group research and a quantitative research study of 750 recent jewelry buyers' shopping preferences, behaviors and attitudes.

Included in the new "Jewelry and Watch Report, 2007" are profiles of the nation's top ten jewelry retailers, as well as details about where shoppers turned for their last jewelry or watch purchase and what features about the shopping environment influenced their shopping decision.

Special features in this report are:

--  Brand preferences in both jewelry brands and watch brands.
--  Profile of the affluent, luxury consumer market for jewelry and
    watches, including the luxury jewelry and watch brands that luxury
    consumers favor.
--  Powerful guidance on pricing for retailers and marketers, including
    the popular price points for different jewelry items based upon research
    findings of what the majority of consumers paid when they made their latest
    purchases.
--  13 research-based Business Building Tactics to help jewelry marketers
    and retailers grow a more vibrant business.
--  7 Major Marketing Opportunities that will mean greater success for
    jewelry companies and retailers that develop strategies to take advantage
    of these emerging opportunities.
--  Profiles of the nation's top ten jewelry retailers.
    

For Media: Charts, tables and graphs are available upon request.

For more information, visit http://www.unitymarketingonline.com/cms_jewelry/jewelry/jewelry_2007.php

About Pam Danziger and Unity Marketing

Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights, especially for marketers and retailers that sell luxury goods and experiences to the masses or the 'classes.' She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992.

Advising such clients as PPR, Diageo, Stearns & Foster, Waterford/Wedgwood, Lenox, Prudential Fine Homes, GM, Ritz Carlton, Orient-Express Hotels, The World Gold Council, The Conference Board and American Express, Danziger taps consumer psychology to help clients navigate and master the changing luxury consumer marketplace.

In recognition of her groundbreaking work in the luxury consumer market, Pam received the Global Luxury Award presented by Harper's Bazaar for top luxury industry achievers in 2007.

Her latest book is "Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience," published by Kaplan Publishing in October 2006. Her other books include "Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses -- as well as the Classes," (Dearborn Trade Publishing, $27, hardcover) and "Why People Buy Things They Don't Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior" (Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2004).

Contact Information

  • Contact Information:
    Pam Danziger
    (717) 336-1600