19 Oct 2021
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Even in a Pandemic, Americans Love their Jewellery-Jewellery Retail Market – U.S.
Americans are spending their pent-up savings on things that make them happy, and jewellery is a key ingredient of their happiness. Vijetha Rangabashyam speaks with medium-to-high-end jewellery retailers in the U.S. to understand the current consumer mindset, how they are overcoming challenges, their immediate concerns, sales strategies, going forward, and more
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 18 2021 12:39PM
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Reference: 25876  

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An emerging trend is much of the working population in the U.S. saying it wants to work from home permanently, or in a more flexible hybrid model. This could become a tailwind for “Zoomworthy jewelry” — an area where we’ve made significant progress. And of course, Connected Commerce, as we call it, is here to stay – people love the integration of online and in-store, and the conveniences of buyonline- pick up-instore. They also enjoy curbside pick-ups and innovations such as virtual try-ons and asynchronous chatting David Bouffard, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Signet Jewelers‘Quarantine Fatigue’ is a real thing. After what seemed like possibly a never-ending lockdown, people are craving real human connection. While the likes of Zoom really saved the day when the world came to a grinding halt, people the world-over are appreciating the privilege of stepping out without having to worry. As cases in the U.S. have started seeing a steady decline and the lockdown has started to ease, restaurants are bustling, and the busy streets of America are back to being busy, with people living it up like there’s no tomorrow. The sentiment to splurge and buy things to feel better is alive and heightened. Jewellery is a symbol of hope and aspiration, and added to that, it has the perceived value of something that is precious. It is not a surprise why America is one of the biggest drivers of demand when it comes to jewellery, amidst other sectors of luxury items. The overall demand for goods and services, is exceptionally high and retail sales are a good 20 per cent higher in June, compared to 2019.

The American Consumer Mindset, Post-Pandemic
According to a report by McKinsey, more than 50per cent of U.S. consumers expect to spend extra by splurging or treating themselves, with higher-income millennials intending to spend the most. Says David Bouffard, Vice President, Signet Jewelers, “Our research indicates that consumers are excited to go shopping. They want to return to the mall and other brick and mortar locations, and start meeting new people and dating again.” The gradual return of normalcy is already showing results in the sales of companies. Take the case of Signet. In the First Quarter of the current financial year, its total sales were $1.7 billion, up 98.2per cent year-over-year, in the 13 weeks ended May 1, 2021, on a reported basis, and up 96.4per cent on a constant currency basis. The total same-store sales increased 106.5per cent year-over-year. E-commerce sales stood at $346.3 million, up 110.3per cent from the prior year. Brick-and-mortar samestore sales increased 105.7per cent year-over-year. Bouffard also notes that people are continuing to spend more on those closest to them. “This works to our advantage because fine jewellery is an iconic gift that people are willing to spend more for when they want to celebrate those they love, which we saw during Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day,” he adds.

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