Optimism and inventory orders are on the upswing.
American jewelers were a feeling a little better about the outlook for their stores as we moved into March, with both their optimism levels and inventory orders ticking up from the month before.
The INSTORE Jewelers’ Confidence Index rose to 53 at the beginning of March, from 51 in the previous month. A score above 50 indicates jewelers are more positive than negative about their business prospects. In November, amid all the uncertainty created by the countdown to the election, the index showed a reading of just 45.
The INSTORE JCI is based on jewelry-store owners’ level of confidence in the short-term outlook for their stores and their willingness to place orders for new goods.
Since we started conducting these surveys in November last year, there has been a seeming disconnect between jewelers’ bullishness and their actual ordering of new product. In our latest survey, that gap narrowed a little, although it was still wide: 45 percent of jewelers said the outlook for their business had improved (up from 41 percent in February), compared to just 12 percent who said it had deteriorated (down from 15 percent in February). Yet, 52 percent said they ordered less new product compared to the same month in 2016 (down from 53 percent in February), while just 21 percent said they ordered more (up from 17 percent in the previous month).
Jewelers are showing more willingness to actually invest in new stock, but their approach still seems to be to err on the side of caution.
INSTORE JEWELERS CONFIDENCE INDEX
This article is an online extra for INSTORE Online.