Jewelers Report Excellent Holiday Sales

January 8, 1999

Jewelers Report Excellent Holiday Sales

Jewelers around the nation saw good Christmas business, with sales up by an average of 10% to 15% among retailers polled by Professional Jeweler.

Most stores polled reported a rise in sales compared with the 1997 holiday season. Stores also saw hefty increases for the entire year, with sales up an average of 20% to 25% from 1997. One jeweler experienced a 51% increase in December, and only one of about two dozen respondents reported a drop in sales volume.

Diamond jewelry sales led the way, with earrings, bracelets and solitaire necklaces among the most popular items. Cultured pearls, platinum and wedding sets were also popular. Watches, especially those in the higher price range, were big sellers this year, with Rolex among the most popular.

Jewelers polled were independents and small chains, but larger chains also did well. Friedman's, Tiffany, Finlay Enterprises and Zale Corp. all reported holiday season sales increases between 7.8% and 20%.

- by Jack Heeger