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Jewelers Sound Off on the 2021 Holiday Selling Season

Many reported larger and earlier sales than usual.

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question: How was the 2021 holiday selling season in comparison to previous years?

  • People came in to buy. Didn’t really get anyone that was “just looking” like in past years. If people were out, they were out for a reason. — Susan Kauffman, Black Dog Jewelers, Lewisburg, PA
  • Nearly overwhelmed with the volume of custom jobs; can’t remember a busier holiday season. Some regular customers spent a lot more than usual. — Vickie Wilson, The Goldsmith, Palo Alto, CA
  • One subject made it into every conversation at the counter…. Covid. Lots of nervous people, lots of changed holiday plans. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • Weird month. Busy the first week, tapered down in the middle of the month and slammed the last 2-3 days. — Krystal Shiklanian, Radiant Fine Jewelry, Plymouth, MI
  • The selling cycle was different. It was a shorter season and the last weekend fell as far away from the holiday as possible. Our worst day of the season was the Saturday before Christmas. Typically, that is our best day. — Christopher Sarich, Noah Gabriel & Co. Jewelers, Wexford, PA
  • 2020 and 2021 were our best holiday selling seasons in YEARS! The thing that has stood out the most is that we have had less traffic (selling fewer total SKUs) but for a higher average price point. — Melissa Quick, Steve Quick Jeweler, Chicago, IL
  • Covid sucks, but it sure does encourage online jewelry purchases. — Gretchen Schaffner, Eytan’s Designs, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • 50 percent up from last Christmas. Sold our first two lab-grown diamonds! — Gregory Fliegauf, Fliegauf Jewelers, Washington, NJ
  • It was truly record-breaking, numbers-wise, but also very, very nice to not have a lot of last-minute project stress! — Jennifer Hornik Johnson, Miller’s Jewelry, Bozeman, MT
  • In 132 years in business, 2021 was our best year in sales! — Jeff Nacol Turnbo, Nacol’s Jewelry, Wichita Falls, TX
  • 2020 was our worst December in decades because our governor had us shut down for part of it. 2021 was back to more normal and was very strong. — Don Bullock, Bullock’s Jewelry, Roswell, NM
  • We had a lot more people spend on big ticket gemstones like opals, emeralds, and colored diamonds. — Rebecca Larson, Barry Peterson Jewelers, Ketchum, ID
  • Average ticket was way up! The bigger shoppers who usually come in the last week bought early in December. — Nancy & Pierre Plante, Plante Jewelers, Swansea, MA
  • Yellow gold was hot! Customers were buying bigger pieces and not too concerned with price tags. THIS WAS A FUN SEASON FOR US! — Christine Graichen, Malloves Jewelers, Middletown, CT
  • Lower traffic than expected. Lots of custom inquiries, lots of special orders placed with the gift recipient or self-purchase for January delivery. — Ellie Thompson, Ellie Thompson + Co., Chicago, IL
  • It was an overall strange holiday selling season. It started off very strong and then slowed substantially while picking up again towards the end. We finished ahead over last year, but I think Omicron worries may have played a part in some people’s shopping habits this season. I even had a hard time getting fully into the Christmas spirit. — Becky Bettencourt, Blue River Diamonds, Peabody, MA
  • We had less foot traffic, but our average ticket was twice as high. People seemed to shop early before getting out of town or last minute. Christmas Eve sales were great! — Betsy Barron, Love & Luxe, San Francisco, CA
  • Almost nobody went for the fun, whimsical pieces — rainbows and shake pieces seem to be out of style now. Rose gold was dead. Yellow gold had the best year in the history of our store and is now even with white gold and platinum in terms of volume sold. Customers are leaning toward having us refurbish rather than scrap their yellow gold jewelry and, to my surprise, we refurbished six (!) old “nugget” rings from the early ‘80s so that people in their 20s and 30s could wear them. Everything old is new again, it seems. (Cue song …) — Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA
  • First two weeks were surprisingly slow traffic-wise, which we didn’t expect at all with the strength of the year up to that point. However, this follows our store’s pattern for the last multiple years, so I wasn’t worried. The last 10 days were absolutely crazy and out of control. Finished so strong, it was amazing. Best year in our history by a long way! — Tom R. Nelson, Nelson Jewelry, Spencer, IA
  • We sold earlier and the pieces in general were higher tickets. What’s strange is that the “bread and butter” pieces we usually always sell didn’t sell, and the pieces that were more of a risk did. — Laura Kitsos, Gem Jewelry Boutique, Oak Park, IL
  • More traffic, lower-priced items purchased; steady pace of customized engagement rings … exactly what I was hoping for! I’m targeting a larger market share of multiple demographics … it is wonderful to hear customer referrals to and for us after describing their experience with our nearby and online competitors. — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • People were generous and wanted to give nice gifts! Maybe because they weren’t traveling as much? It was nice to see people celebrate with jewelry. — Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
  • It was awesome! Most of my business comes in online, and I had more first-time buyers than in previous years. — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • Amazing season! Doubled my sales from last year. More customers buying more expensive items. Low priced items are still in my case — hopefully will sell at Valentine’s Day. — Linda Brown, Heritage Jewelers, Shelbyville, TN
  • The 2021 holiday season was the best in terms of volume since my first Christmas in the business in 1975! I am not looking forward to going against those figures, but informed the staff that, if we are to do so, we must start NOW! What truly stands out is how much a piece of jewelry means in people’s lives. We are fortunate to sell and represent goods with true, lasting meaning for folks. — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • The BIG ticket items went easily into stunningly wrapped boxes and bags. The customers who bought ALL OF THE ITEMS on the wishlist or bought the next size up or bought the companion piece too were much higher this year than I’ve ever noticed. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL

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Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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