Precious Metals:Data & Statistics
This month's cover story on silver provides the perfect opportunity to
look at some statistical information about sterling silver jewelry, giftware
and flatware sales by jewelers and non-jeweler competitors.
Sales totaled $2.1 billion in 1996 (most recent figures available), a 14%
increase over 1995, says the Silver Information Center, New York, NY. The
number of pieces grew 7% to 52.5 million.
Women comprise the largest segment of silver shoppers: 60% of them buy
it for themselves, 30% buy it for others, most often for Christmas/Hanukkah,
birthdays or graduations.
Department stores accounted for 25% of all silver jewelry purchases in
1996, followed by jewelry stores (15%), mail order outlets (13%) and large
variety stores (9%). About 90% of the purchases cost below $70; the average
price was $40. Earrings were the most popular item (see top chart), followed
by necklaces and rings.
Giftware and flatware sales totaled $485 million, up 15%. The middle chart
shows flatware sales alone accounted for $220 million (up 10%); giftware
totaled $265 million (up 20%).
A closer look at the giftware category shows tabletop items and gifts
for the home (such as picture frames, hollowware, candleholders and desk
accessories) generated 19% of the total; the ever-growing baby product category
accounted for 16%.
Over half of all sterling silver giftware purchases were made on sale
items. Forty percent cost over $40; the average price per gift was $55.
Counting all categories (jewelry, giftware and flatware), jewelers accounted
for a healthy 20% of silver sales in 1996, trailing only department stores
(see bottom chart).
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.