JA Survey says No Sales Increase in 2001

October 4, 2002

JA Survey says No Sales Increase in 2001

Respondents to Jewelers of America's 2002 edition of its annual Cost of Doing Business Survey , reported a 0% increase in sales in 2001. This is down significantly from a median sales increase of 3.3% in 2000 and the 10.5% increase in 1999.

Chain stores were the only type of jewelry retailers to experience sales growth, at 3.2%, in 2001 compared to 2000. Jewelers in the designer/artist/custom category saw sales drop by 12.5% from the previous year.

Overall net profit to net sales for survey respondents was 6.1% for 2001, the same as in 2000 and lower than the 7.3% reported in 1999.

Gross margin for survey respondents held the line in 2001 at 49.3%, up slightly from the 47.4% reported in 2000, although it remains below levels reported in the 1980s.

Diamond jewelry and loose diamonds combined to account for 47% of all sales. Karat gold jewelry amounted to 11% of sales, while colored stone jewelry and jewelry repairs each accounted for 9%.

"The survey's findings confirm the industry's concerns about a challenging business environment," says JA President and CEO Matthew A. Runci. "We at JA dedicate ourselves to attending to the needs of our members, especially during economic times such as these."

JA's Cost of Doing Business Survey, published every fall, offers the retail jeweler comprehensive financial information to help them evaluate and compare their store's performance to others in the industry. Survey respondents are categorized into four groups to allow for legitimate peer comparisons: Independent High End, Independent Middle Range, Designer/Artist/Custom, and Chain Stores.

The annual survey looks at the status of the retail jewelry industry through key performance measures including sales volumes within store types, productivity ratios, financial strength indicators and balance sheet data. The study's format, scope and content are similar in each edition, making for easy, year-to-year comparisons. The report also contains a "how-to" section showing methods of interpreting and using the data.

The Cost of Doing Business Survey is based on confidential questionnaires submitted by hundreds of JA members. The survey was prepared by Advantage Marketing Information, an independent research firm in Wickford, RI.

The 2002 Cost of Doing Business Survey is available to JA member retailers for $19.95. The survey is $125.00 for non-members. JA members who contributed to the data receive one free copy. For purchasing and membership information, call JA at (800) 223-0673 or go to jewelers.org.

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