JA Survey Says its Members Grew Annual Sales 6.1% in 2004

October 31, 2005

JA Survey Says its Members Grew Annual Sales 6.1% in 2004

The Jewelers of America Cost of Doing Business survey, which features financial data on JA member stores compiled from 2004, found that JA members overall increased their annual sales by 6.1% in 2004. Independent mid-range stores enjoyed the largest growth with an 8.1% rise in sales from the previous year. Sales for independent high-end retailers grew by 5.2%, and chain stores were up 6.6%. The survey has been published in print and, for the first time, electronically and is available on CD or via e-mail.

Gross margins inched up from 48.8% in 2003 to 49.2% in 2004. Independent mid-range retailers had the highest gross margins with 51.8 % (up from 50.1% the year before). Distribution of sales among product categories varied only slightly from the year before. Diamond jewelry, at 36% (up 1% from 2003), accounted for the largest share of JA membersą sales. Loose diamonds totaled 14% of sales (up 2% from the previous year).

Karat gold jewelry and colored stone jewelry each represented 9% of total sales, each down 1% from 2003. Unchanged from the previous year, jewelry repairs made up 9% of JA members' business in 2004.

"The JA Cost of Doing Business Survey is designed to help a retail jeweler compare their store's financial performance to others in the industry," said Matthew A. Runci, JA president and CEO. "By utilizing the survey, retail jewelers can identify their own strengths and opportunities for improvement."

The survey looks at many key performance measures and includes a useful "how-to" section designed to help retail jewelers interpret the data. The survey is based on confidential questionnaires completed and submitted by a sampling of JA members.

JA members who participate in the survey receive it for free. The 2005 edition of the Cost of Doing Business Survey, is available for purchase to JA members for $19.95, and to nonmembers for $125. (Shipping and handling charges are extra.) The survey can be ordered by calling Jewelers of America at (800) 223-0673, or go to www.jewelers.org.

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