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Jewelry Sales Spiked in February: Mastercard SpendingPulse

Consumer spending ‘returned to a familiar and healthy balance.’




Valentine’s Day drove a spike in sales in jewelry and other gifting sectors, including apparel and department stores, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Overall U.S. retail sales excluding automotive were up 6.9% year-over-year in February.

“Following a dynamic holiday season, consumer spending returned to a familiar and healthy balance in February,” said Steve Sadove, Mastercard senior adviser and former CEO of Saks Inc. “Consumers have remained resilient, prioritizing discounts where possible to counteract inflationary pressures.”

No exact figure was given for the sales increase in jewelry.

At a national level, key spending trends from February include the following, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse:

  • E-commerce resilience: Following months of strong growth, E-commerce sales continued to climb, up +13.2% YOY as winter weather activity in many parts of the country kept consumers inside and ordering from the comfort of home. In-store sales were up +5.5% YOY.
  • Experiences remain a top priority: Spending on Restaurants (+14.2%), Airlines (+15.6%)* and Lodging (+42.7%)* experienced elevated growth YOY. This reflects suppressed growth in 2022, as well as continued demand for travel and experiences ahead of the popular spring break season.
  • Apparel & Department stores show moderate growth: Apparel (+3.9%) and Department store (+5.6%) sectors experienced modest year-over-year growth in February as consumers put an emphasis on pricing and value. In particular, Valentine’s Day drove a spike in sales across gifting sectors, including Apparel, Department Stores, and Jewelry.

“Retail spending continued to grow at a steady rate compared to 2022,” said Michelle Meyer, North America Chief Economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. “The consumer remains supported by robust labor market conditions with some added cushion from savings.”  


Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. It reflects nominal spending and is not adjusted for inflation.

Travel services such as airlines and lodging are not included in the total retail sales figure.

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Except for a few years when he worked as an accountant, Jim Schwartz has always been a jeweler. He grew up in the business and after “counting beans” for a few years, he and his wife, Robin, opened Robin James Jewelers in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We were coming to a stage in our life where we knew we have to make a decision,” says Jim Schwartz. He and Robin wanted to do it right, so they called Wilkerson. The best surprise (besides surpassing sales goals)? “The workers and associations really care about helping us move out own inventory out of the store first. It was very important to us.”

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