June 2, 1999
Mother's Day Sales Strong
Heavy last-minute promotions and the "desperate male" consumer boosted retail jewelry sales for Mother's Day in late April and early May this year, according to a report by Davenport & Co. LLC, a research company in Richmond, VA.
Most jewelry stores reported high single-digit or low double-digit increases in sales compared to 1998. Many of the large chains' first fiscal quarters, which included Valentine's Day sales and some pre-Mother's Day demand, saw significant increases in profits up 71% for Whitehall Jewelers, 42% for Tiffany & Co. and 44% for Friedman's Jewelers compared to the same period last year.
Researchers noted strong promotion in radio, newspaper and direct mail during the Mother's Day selling period. Zales, for instance, bought a two-page spread in USA Today just before the holiday to inspire last-minute sales.
Heavy sellers were stud earrings and heart-shaped pendants. Platinum and white gold were also top sellers. The report also noted fewer customers are taking advantage of in-house credit programs at jewelry stores and cash sales as a part of overall sales continue to increase modestly.
- by Stacey King