U.S. Shoppers Shell Out for Diamonds Instead of Trips and Meals
(Bloomberg) -- Americans fortunate enough to keep their jobs through the pandemic may find that a lack of trips and eating out is leaving extra cash in their pockets. So many are turning to a tried-and-true big-ticket purchase: jewelry.
Signet Jewelers Ltd., the owner of Jared and Kay, saw sales turn positive late in the last quarter and continue to climb in August. Tiffany & Co.’s global sales did, too. Macy’s Inc., which also owns Bloomingdale’s, identified diamond jewelry has one of the top product categories at both stores in the quarter ended Aug. 1.
“All the high-end products are very strong,” Macy’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said in an interview. Well-heeled shoppers are looking to spend the money that would ordinarily go toward trips or meals, and some are even dropping more than $50,000 on jewelry, he said. “You think about the discretionary spend that’s coming from experiences.”
Signet CEO Gina Drosos says she’s also seeing higher transaction values than usual as customers seek gifts “that have more longevity, more meaning.”
U.S. shoppers are also willing to spend more than normal on engagement rings now, aiding jewelry’s resurgence, she said. Bridal goods have performed well because the main buyers are younger men who’ve proved the least anxious about visiting stores during the health crisis.
Meanwhile, on the more pragmatic side, “Zoom-worthy” jewelry, such as diamond earrings and pendants, has seen a surge with millions of Americans still working from home and trying to look their best for video conference calls, according to Drosos.
“We’re seeing tremendous strength,” she said.
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