JCOC Forecasts Holiday 2004 Trends

October 19, 2004

JCOC Forecasts Holiday 2004 Trends

Look for linear (aka stilleto) or drop earrings to dominate fine jewelry purchases this holiday season and even beyond, according to the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council's Trend Analysis and Style Forecast for Holiday 2004 & Spring 2005. JCOC conducted the study from Sept. 23-30, 2004. "If I was betting, linear earrings are probably the most important trend for the holiday season and throughout 2005," Jeff Tasraschi, of Interactive Group Ltd., said in a virtual seminar detailing JCOC's findings. The seminar, available on the Web and by phone, was sponsored by MVI Marketing Ltd.

According to the study, pearls and cocktail rings will also sell well this holiday season, and most respondents who plan to buy linear or drop earrings, pearls and cocktail rings say they will do it at independent retail jewelers and national chains. Diamonds, not surprisingly, are also predicted to be hot items for holiday purchases.

Just over one-fifth, or 21%, of respondents plan to purchase fine jewelry as gifts this holiday season, which is down from a June 2004 study, when 28.67% of the respondents said they planned to. In Sept. 2004, 49% of the respondents were undecided, compared to 37.16% who said they were undecided in June 2004. The good news, said Taraschi, is that the 21% who plan to buy fine jewelry "plan to spend significantly on it."

Taraschi and the other seminar participants, Liz Chatelain of MVI and Destini Gillham of JCOC, offered insights behind the study numbers and made suggestions to maximize retail sales during the holiday season.

Of the men who plan to buy jewelry, a whopping 86.7% will buy it as a gift for spouses or significant others, while only 37.8% of the women who plan to buy will buy for spouses or significant others. However, those women do plan to purchase jewelry for parents (39.5%) and children (47.8%). Salespeople should be prepared to suggest a variety of styles and pricepoints to accomodate gift lists for all members of the family.

This was a surprisingly strong category for holiday responses. Nearly a third of the men planning to buy jewelry said they were interested in a self-purchase, and 54% of the female respondents plan on a self-purchase.

Know the Trends
"HIgher income respondents follow trends more closely," said Gillham. Cocktail rings, for example, were more appealing to upper income respondents, which the study defined as a household income of more than $55,000 per year.

"All data points to multimedia – TV, movies, magazines, events – forming opinions and helping consumers make choices," said Taraschi. "They're coming into stores expecting to see the trends and will judge the viability of the store by whether it has those trends or not."

by Liz Smutko

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