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Jewelry to Be a Key Growth Area This Holiday Shopping Season, IBM Predicts

Overall retail growth will be nearly 5%.

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ARMONK, NY — IBM’s 2018 Holiday Retail Forecast suggests that this shopping season could be a win in many segments, including jewelry.

Overall retail growth is expected to total 4.83 percent compared to last year.

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Jewelry will be among the stronger segments, with anticipated 5.2 percent growth, according to the report.

Consumer appliances lead all product categories with 15.2% projected growth, compared to a year earlier. Apparel is also expected to be strong (12.7 percent for men’s clothing, 4.3 percent for women’s clothing and 14.2 percent for other apparel).

“The retail industry is extremely dynamic and a host of powerful factors such as the economy, fast-moving market trends and consumer confidence all come into play,” said Michael Haydock, IBM fellow, vice president and chief scientist with IBM Global Business Services. “With AI and advanced analytics, we can get the experience just right for discerning consumers when they walk into the store.”

IBM’s 2018 Holiday Retail Forecast “uses advanced statistics and analytics to evaluate both the long-term sales trend and seasonal peaks,” according to the release. The data originates from the U.S. Census Bureau, which captures total sales observations from over 46,000 retail establishments.

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IBM consultants use the forecast to help retail clients address issues related to supply and demand, plan product mix, and determine new store locations, staffing and advertising spend.

Download IBM’s 2018 Holiday Retail Forecast here.

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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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