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Brain Squad

INSTORE Readers Report Successful Valentine’s Selling Period

46 percent of our survey group reported gains, with just 19 percent down.

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VALENTINE’S DAY CONTINUED a trend of sales growth for 2020, at least among INSTORE’s Brain Squad. Out of 132 jewelers surveyed, almost half experienced growth this year over the same three-week selling period last year. Only 19 percent said sales were down, with just 5 percent of those reporting sales “way down” (more than 25 percent from last year’s period).

We asked respondents to share what sold and what didn’t, and here’s what they had to say.

Way up (25% or more): 19%
Up: 27%
About the same: 36%
Down: 14%
Way down (25% or more): 5%

* Jewelers were asked to compare their sales over the three weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day with the same period in 2019. 132 responded.

  • Customers seemed to have more money to spend and wanted to spend it. They were much happier this year than they were in the last ten years. — Tim S., Mobile, AL
  • We had a very strong Valentine’s sales in 2019. Across the board, sales were way up from 2018!!! (Insert “Owners Happy Dance” here) In 2020 business was strong but the individual sales weren’t as large but the customer count was up! All in all, I was very pleased with maintaining the same numbers! — Denise O., La Grange, IL
  • Our sales were about the same only because we sold fewer higher dollar items this year. Traffic was way down and we only sold a few lower dollar items. I think that there is a lot of competition for the lower priced, mass produced items. And that is exactly why we are focusing on custom design to set ourselves apart from the competition. — Dianna H., Lafayette, LA
  • While business in general has steadied a bit, Valentine’s Day sales over the years has become less and less of a “thing”. Many people joke about it as if it’s a “made up” holiday and it has become less of a jewelry giving event in our neck of the woods. Since it was usually just smallish items in jewelry in the past for Valentine’s Day, we somehow don’t feel like we are missing much because of the lower sales. — Alex W., Torrance, CA
  • We traditionally do very little for Valentine’s Day sales. I think it’s the area and we are in a higher price point than others in the area. Saturday after was a killer day with lots of business! Go figure! — Kas J., Jefferson City, MO
  • Custom pieces were the big seller this year. We were very diligent in using social media to advertise. — Joe C., Bristol, RI
  • Heart jewelry was great between $85-$200. Anything over that was a struggle. Usually diamond earrings are a big hit but were not this year! — Paul K., Fort Atkinson, WI
  • The number of items sold were down but the average ticket was up. Valentine’s Day has not been very strong for some years now, but it was stronger in diamond fashion jewelry and engagement rings this year. — Eric S., West Springfield, MA
  • We did some special digital marketing this year via social and email, etc., but it didn’t seem to produce much traffic. Was still okay, but not the increased traffic I had hoped for with the work put into the marketing piece and distribution of it. — Tom N., Spencer, IA
  • Big ticket items don’t sell for Valentine’s Day like they used to … but we have our regulars who come in and spend $200-$300 on their partners. Occasionally a few engagement rings and even several birthday! Tom Kruskal was our biggest seller. — Mary Jo C., Rutland, VT
  • Over the last 40 years, we have watched everyday jewelry sales, including self-purchase, grow and grow, and over the last decade watched holiday-specific sales slow, especially Valentine’s Day. Jewelry for Valentine’s Day just might not be the novelty or the necessity it used to be. Sales today (Presidents Day) have already passed Friday. All good! — T. Julian M., Brunswick, NY
  • February 1st-14th sales were up approximately 10 percent over last year. This was our third year in a row of using the GemsOne flyer and it continues to drive traffic. — Travis P., Vincennes, IN
  • The impeachment hearings ended and people were out and about. It was a whole different vibe than the week before when politics were front and center. — Susan K., Lewisburg, PA
  • My guess is that the weather has been unseasonably mild. People have been out more. A few more high-end items sold. — Betty P., Rochester, MI
  • I just don’t think most people spend much money on Valentine’s Day any more. I think wives are good with flowers, chocolates and dinner. Jewelry doesn’t seem to be on the radar for most people unless the man failed on a Christmas gift and has to make up for it. — Marc M., Midland, TX
  • Our sales were up but had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. This holiday has become a virtual “nothing” day. Perhaps we had three items sold for the special day. Most of our sales were bridal that were planned in advance or planned to be presented in a few weeks. The increase was nothing more than incidental. I have found that when the average planned amount spent on the day is about $130. I am very limited in what I can offer for fine gold jewelry. — David B., Calgary, AB
  • Really have no idea, but we have had an increase in Valentine’s Day business this year. The whole week of Valentine’s this year has been brisk with interest and sales are up in most areas of jewelry. — Bob R., Germantown, TN
  • Engagement rings, ciamond darrings, and silver from Lafonn and Frederic Duclos! — Laurie C., Hyde Park, NY
  • Diamond fashion jewelry purchases in the $600-800 price point performed best. — Tom O., Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Lots of solid economic news, sold more bracelets than usual. — Jim T., Seattle, WA
  • Traffic is down a bit, but sales of “big” diamonds are up. Now if I can just bolster my traffic and keep those big sales coming … — Jon W., Virginia Beach, VA
  • Women took Valentine’s Day buying into their own hands and bought themselves the gift they wanted! — Sandra L., Vulcan, AB
  • Valentine’s Day has been a non-holiday for us for quite some time. It’s more of a flowers, candy and dinner kind of day. Luckily our business is steady year round and we don’t count on the big holiday boost like we once did. — Doreen V., Bethlehem, PA
  • 72% of our cash register rings were for silver items $50-200. Some custom jobs kept us even. — Cathy G., Frankfort, IN
  • Lots of gifty silver (Classic of NY, Berco, Bella Cavo) with some diamond earring and diamond rings thrown in! Did $2,000 more this year over last year. — Rosanne K., South Bend, TN
  • My wife and I were stretched to the limit this Valentine’s. Waves of buyers. Our custom Amelia Island Pendant sold out. Huge amounts of Alamea sold and our custom Sand and Sea Locket Collection. Pair that with our regular custom output and it was a great start to 2020. — Rick N., Fernandina Beach, FL
  • We have a brilliant new marketing manager that knows how to “tell our story” and connect with our customers in fresh new ways. — Linda M., Waco, TX
  • Number of sales dropped a little, but average ticket went from $560 to $800. — Bill E., Terre Haute, IN
  • In our store sales were up with engagement rings and the forever roses being the top sellers. Colored gemstones was a close seller and in the top 3. This year we used a digital billboard featuring photographs of the “loves” of our Facebook fans. People always like to see their picture on the billboard. — Chay R., Nacogdoches, TX
  • Alex and Ani is over. Nothing really to replace it, now we have Ania Haie for price points. — Allison L., Myerstown, PA
  • We ran a different promo where you got free chocolates with purchase. — Nicholas P., Dickson City, PA
  • We ran a strong campaign with a promotional package to entice young males. It consisted of flowers, candy, dinner and a diamond pendant. — Beth O., Spartanburg, SC
  • Traffic down but average sale way up. Hearts On Fire and John Hardy sold well. — Richard F., Mobile, AL

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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