Independent jewelry stores with significant watch inventory report watch sales for the full year were up 2%-3% despite the generally slow December. Sales were compared with record-high 1999 sales, a benchmark few could exceed in 2000.
Mid priced brands starting at $500 and luxury watches appeared to sell better nationwide than lower-priced models, according to retailers who sell a full range. Vintage pieces were strong generally nationwide.
At Sunglass Hut group, comparable-store sales of low-to-moderate-priced watches fell more than 10%. The chain includes 112 Watch Station and 116 Watch World locations.
Steel with diamonds remained the favored style among watch sellers, while white gold also sold well in luxury goods stores. Women's watches sold somewhat better than men's in December. Large watches continued to score with men, as did round and rectangular steel cases. Yellow gold's resurgence with jewelry has yet to be felt at the watch showcase, though this may change with 2001 watch introductions.
- by Michael Thompson