Santa Claus might be a jolly fellow with a lot of influence around the holiday season, but even he won’t be able to score deals on jewelry this year.
Although retailers are poised to discount a variety of overstocked items during the holidays — including clothes, shoes, toys and furniture — high demand for jewelry means you will likely pay full price.
That’s been the trend over the last couple of years, CNN reported. On an annual basis, jewelry sales surged 32% during the 2021 holiday season after climbing 26.2% in 2020, according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report.
Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry adviser with NPD Group, told CNN that jewelry remains “in good shape” for the 2022 holiday season, partly because it is perceived to be a “good investment gift, so spending limits by consumers will feel better spent on jewelry.”
As CNN noted, diamond studs, necklaces and even engagement rings have always been popular holiday gift choices, but they are even more popular now. One reason is the lack of hot tech items in 2022 to compete in expensive gift categories. Another is that jewelry merchants aren’t struggling with the kinds of excess inventory that have hurt other product categories.
During the first half of 2022, overall jewelry sales in the United States rose 11% from the previous year, according to Edahn Golan, a diamond research and data company. That growth rate was especially impressive considering that it came against tough comparisons to 2021, when jewelry consumers increased their spending by about 50%.
Signet Jewelers CEO Gina Drosos recently told analysts in an earnings call that demand is especially strong for luxury-priced jewelry items. Signet, the nation’s top jewelry company, owns the Zales, Kay Jewelers and Jared chains.
To meet that demand, Signet is increasing the amount of higher-priced items. At the same time, it also plans to expand its inventory of affordable jewelry for cash-strapped consumers hit hard by the soaring inflation rate.
That doesn’t mean jewelry will be sold at discount prices, though — only that there is enough inventory to meet a variety of budgets.
“I do not expect discounting,” Paul Zimnisky, an independent jewelry industry analyst, told CNN. “However, I expect that a lot of jewelers will likely be stocking lower-priced merchandise options.”
More From GOBankingRates