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Average Ticket Edges Higher As Strong Season Continues

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See the results of our latest Holiday Season Mini-Survey.

Jewelers reported that momentum was building toward a very strong 2017 holiday season, according to the second INSTORE Holiday Season Mini-Survey.

As we enter the home stretch, the positive reviews of the holiday season we’ve been seeing since Black Friday continue to roll in. In our fourth Brain Squad Mini Survey, 36 percent of jewelers described the season so far as “terrific” or “better than expected”, while 27 percent rated it negatively. The rest said it was on par with expectations.

 

CUSTOMER TRAFFIC COMPARED TO LAST YEAR

Average Ticket Edges Higher As Strong Season Continues

 

AVERAGE TICKET COMPARED TO LAST YEAR

Average Ticket Edges Higher As Strong Season Continues

While those levels have changed little in the three weeks since we started doing our holiday surveys, one trend that has become more prominent is declining customer traffic but higher tickets. Only 29 percent of jewelers said their traffic was up over the same period in 2016 (vs. 36 percent who said it was down), but 44 percent said their average ticket was up (vs. 22 percent who said it had declined).

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“Sales are up, transactions are down. Custom is very strong, people know what they want and want it made,” said Susan Kauffman at Black Dog Jewelers, Lewisburg, PA.

The strong sales numbers could also be seen in the way average ticket has steadily climbed over the season. In our first mini survey, 43 percent of jewelers said their average sale was over $350. In this weekend’s survey, the portion of jewelers reporting such a high number had climbed to 48 percent.

“Many customers tell me that they had the best year in their businesses and therefore seem to be spending more this year because of that,” said Tom Duma, owner of Thom Duma Fine Jewelers in Warren, OH.

Added Kim Hatchell, the manager at Galloway & Moseley, in Sumter, SC: “People are definitely more comfortable than last year, and spending more.”

In addition to the lift from a strong economy there is evidence jewelers are getting a better handle on the new retail environment.  “I feel blessed to have the business we do. Changes are fine and we are adapting nicely to the new generation of retail,” said Brenda Newman, owner of The Jewelry Source in El Segundo, CA.

As for what’s selling well, diamonds, silver and custom continue to dominate the list. “Diamond necklaces, diamond earrings and diamond rings still are making the most headlines here in the Midwest,” reported Denise Oros, owner of Linnea Jewelers in La Grange, IL “Santa’s sleigh has made several stops at our front door to pickup delightful goodies for good little girls.”

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More than 150 jewelers from 36 states and Canada responded to our survey, which was sent out on Monday morning. We’ll send out our final holiday season survey next week. Please look out for it.

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When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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