Gold is shining bright again. Sales in units had been in a steady decline for some time but, as the graph above shows, they have recovered sharply in recent months at the stores in our survey group.

With no obvious catalysts driving the sales improvement we can only assume it’s a delayed reaction to the decline in the price of gold over the last two years. With many inventory items purchased near gold’s high, and given a stock turn of only one per year, most jewelers would have been reluctant to drop their prices. But current prices reflect a more reasonable buy-in level for jewelers replenishing stocks, and a more affordable price for customers, which would spur demand.

Not surprisingly, the percentage contribution from gold to overall sales has also seen a steep increase, with sales inching their way to 9 percent of store sales at the typical American jeweler. If your sales have not shown a similar resurgence, it could be because you are carrying a lot of old product at outdated (and inflated) prices.

Sadly, there is no simple way to deal with this. You may have to bite the bullet and cut your prices to move the items on. The good news is that any restocking will be at a lower price. Take heart from the fact that lower prices make your merchandise more attractive, so ultimately this “correction” is good for you.

For the full story and more ideas to improve your store’s performance, visit instoremag.com/bythenumbers.

Data gathered from the POS systems of more than 250 stores by the Edge Retail Academy (edgeretailacademy.com). To join the benchmarking panel, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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