September 14, 2011: Just Because Jewelry
If you’re in the jewelry business, you know that selling fine jewelry is essentially a seasonal business. Most of these gems and baubles (two-thirds in fact) are sold during the Christmas holidays to men buying gifts for the women in their lives.
But luckily for those in the trade, that is starting to change. Market researcher Mintel has dubbed the new jewelry buyers “Just Becausers,” referring to professional women, aged 45 and up, who are increasingly purchasing nice jewelry for themselves “just because.”
As reported in The Wall Street Journal, last year 59 percent of the jewelry purchases by this group of women were made for no reason other than the women decided to treat themselves.
Liz Chatelain, an industry expert, told the Journal that jewelry designers and retailers need to “adjust [their] messaging” to take full advantage of this trend.
According to a specialty retail analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., another reason jewelry sales are up is the increase in the number of brand names of jewelry now being offered. The Journal says 80 percent of fine jewelry is still unbranded, but consumers are often more willing to buy when they see a “trusted brand name” in the jewelry cases. Chatelain believes “the lines between ‘fashion’ and ‘fine’ [jewelry] have blurred.”
As gold prices continue to rise, fine jewelry now includes sterling silver and platinum alloys which helps keep the jewelry affordable.
This trend is important not only to jewelry store owners. Any fashion or apparel retailer should be aware that showcasing fashion jewelry is now a year-round imperative. And fine jewelry can now be fashion-conscious as well.