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David Brown

David Brown: An Early Christmas for Jewelers




David Brown
President of The Edge Retail Academy

November continued the trend of healthy growth with an annualized increase of 1.73 percent on the equivalent period last year, as average storewide sales rose from $1,293,000 per annum at the end of October to $1,315,000 at the end of November. This is equates to an increase in sales for the typical store of around $22,000 for November 2012 over November 2011, a significant improvement for one month.

This increase of 1.73 percent is the fifth highest since The Edge Retail Academy started recording data back in 2008. The average store performance for November was $120,951, up from the $98,603 in November 2011.

When breaking the figures down for November it was most noticeable that the average sale was significantly up, particularly for stores achieving over $600,000 per annum in sales.


As the chart shows, the month of November has enjoyed a huge rebound in growth over the last three years. From $81,975 in 2010, November sales increased to $98,603 and then $120,951, respectively, in the last two years. There has been a minimal change in unit sales with an increase of just 3.88 percent from 566 units in 2010 to 588 units in 2012.

Average ticket, however, has improved significantly with the average sale value excluding repairs rising from $185 to $273 in the two-year period, an impressive increase of 47 percent in average sale value.

This has reflected on the bottom line with gross profit jumping from $41,181 to $60,514, an improvement of 47 percent, as jewelers have shown the ability to maintain their margins despite the higher average sale.

The percentage that November now contributes to the typical jewelry store’s annual sales has gone from 7 percent to 9 percent, up 28 percent.

As mentioned, larger stores have shown the greatest increases in average retail sale and it seems that they have been able to do this thanks to a rebound in diamond sales.

Is this simply a case of Christmas coming early for many retailers? It may seem likely, particularly given the growth of online sales and the need for consumers to plan purchases better to have online gifts delivered in time. However, industry stats suggested that many customers had yet to complete their holiday purchases as of Dec. 14 and that jewelry figures as a buying option for over 20 percent of consumers.


December sales showed good growth last year so we’re crossing our fingers that this uptrend may continue for 2012. It’s time for retailers to tick off their last minute checklists:

1Make sure all product is front and center, particularly fastsellers. The last thing you need is to find you’re missing sales opportunities on popular items that are found sitting in a drawer once Dec. 25 has passed. Make sure restocking is done daily.

2Look for the upsell opportunity. The closer it gets to the big day the more desperate shoppers become. Help them solve their problems by suggesting gifts for others to buy.

3Make sure the staff get to recharge. Insist on breaks at every opportunity. Keep the troops spirits up with a few coffees and nibbles.

4If you have an exchange policy, make sure staff are using it to help close the sale. Customers don’t want to have to hunt elsewhere and you don’t want them to either. Make it easy for them to say yes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Brown is president of the Edge Retail Academy, an organization devoted to the measurement and growth of jewelry-store performance and profitability. For further information about the Academy’s management mentoring and industry benchmarking reports, contact [email protected] or phone toll free (877) 5698657




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