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2008 Jewelry Survey

Holiday shoppers may not be spending with reckless abandon this holiday season, but they will be spending. An interesting jewelry survey by National Jeweler, explains the psyche of the 2008 jewelry enthusiast.

Online spending grow only 1% in October 2008 compared to spending in 2007, the lowest monthly rate of growth since Comscore began “measuring the digital world” in 2001.

The good news is, jewelry, especially gold jewelry, is still on jewelry shopper’s list, according jewelry industry news magazine, National Jeweler. According to their October 2008 survey, 51% of those surveyed plan on still buying fine jewelry this holiday season.

One has to ask whether National Review surveyed their subscriber base of jewelry enthusiasts to come up with a majority of shoppers wanting jewelry this year. Still, the results are educational to say the least, with gold jewelry remaining on the top of jewelery shoppers lists (50% of respondents). This was followed by silver jewelry (38%) and diamond jewelry (35%). Other survey choices included gemstone jewelry (21%), fine watches (14%), and pearl jewelry (12%).

Many jewelers were surprised to hear that gold jewelry ranked #1 among jewelry shoppers, given the precious metals higher than average prices over the last several years. Some jewelers, Apples of Gold Jewelry, among them, has also noticed a resurgence in yellow gold among its customers. White gold, of course, had been the industry leader from some time.

Although most surveyed say they prefer shopping at independent jewelers, Internet jewelers ranked high relative to discount jewelers, warehouse clubs, and television shopping. Internet jewelry stores rose from 9% of those surveyed to 13% compared to the previous year. Price considerations and increased reliability among internet jewelers has played a factor in this steadily growing surge.

Given the “gloomy” and unpredictable economic fears facing Americans this year, respondents considered price and value the #1 factor influencing their decisions (42% ), followed by personal taste (37%), and the opinion or suggestion of a “significant other” (22%).

While the majority of those shopping jewelry plan on buying jewelry less than $100 (21%), this was followed by $100-$500 (16%), and by those who say they will spend $500-$1,000 (9%). 6% of shoppers surveyed said they will buy Jewelry over $1,000.

Aside from price, shoppers overwhelmingly said they want personal attention when shopping. What jewelery shoppers did not seem to care much about was: what celebrities are wearing (2%), what they see in magazines (3%), internet ads (3%), and TV ads (5%)–in other words, consumers want to be influenced by their own tastes, considerations, and qualities.

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