SOURCE: Unity Marketing

September 17, 2007 07:50 ET

Consumers' Taste for High-End Jewelry Grew in 2006

New Unity Marketing Study Finds That Jewelry Consumers Traded Up to Higher-End Styles and More Expensive Designs in 2006

STEVENS, PA--(Marketwire - September 17, 2007) - For jewelry and watch shoppers in 2006, there was nothing like the 'real thing.' According to new research by Unity Marketing, consumers traded up to more luxurious jewelry and watch choices -- and the more luxurious the better.

In 2006 American consumers spent $62.2 billion buying jewelry and watches, posting a dramatic 6.5 percent increase over sales in 2005 of $58.4 billion. But it was the luxury end of the jewelry market that experienced the strongest growth last year with sales of fine watches rising 39 percent and fine jewelry up 10 percent.

By contrast the fashion or costume segment in the jewelry market declined by 8 percent and sales of costume watches were off by 20 percent, according to the latest statistics on the jewelry and watch market reported by Unity Marketing in a new market research study.

"The jewelry market went even more luxurious in 2006," said 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 moved more up-market in 2006, choosing to buy fine jewelry and watches more frequently, rather than their cheaper costume counterparts. With their eye on more expensive designs, they turned more often to specialty jewelry stores where they got expert advice which boosted their confidence to spend the substantial amounts they did for their purchases."

Latest Trends in the Consumer Market for Jewelry and Watches

The shift in the jewelry consumer market toward more luxury is one of a number of important new trends discovered in the latest survey among 750 recent jewelry and watch consumers conducted by Unity Marketing. Other trends uncovered in the new study include:

--  The men's jewelry market came into its own in 2006 and is no longer an
    after-thought.
    
--  Jewelry stores came surging back after losing share for several years.
    
--  Demand for gemstone jewelry exploded, especially for colored semi-
    precious stones and diamonds.
    
--  The market for fine watches grew dramatically in 2006, but the future
    looks less certain as younger consumers reject watches as a status symbol.
    

New Consumer Insights about Jewelry and Watch Shoppers, What They Bought and Where They Shopped

Unity Marketing has completed a new study of the jewelry consumer market based upon in-depth qualitative focus group research and a quantitative research study of recent jewelry buyers' shopping preferences, behaviors and attitudes. Demographics of the jewelry consumers surveyed are: average income $74,400, in line with the national average income of $72,906 among U.S. households aged 65 and under; average age 41.6 years; and gender split 60 percent female/40 percent male. Results of this latest survey are compared with a similar survey conducted in 2004.

This research study includes research data and statistics about:

--  Jewelry Market Size and Growth, including sales by type of jewelry,
    metal and gemstone
    
--  Demographics of the Jewelry Market
    
--  Jewelry Consumer Buying Behavior, including type of store where
    jewelry consumers shopped
    
--  Psychographic Profiles and Segmentation of Jewelry Market
    

For more information and to order a copy of the report, visit http://www.unitymarketingonline.com/cms_jewelry/jewelry/jewelry_2007.php

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

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, GM, Waterford/Wedgwood, Lenox, Prudential Fine Homes, 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:
    Pam Danziger
    717-336-1600