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Know It All: February 2015

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Holiday Retail Sales up 5.5%

1 Sales during the Black Friday to Christmas Eve period rose by 5.5 percent on-year with jewelry being one of the top-performing sectors, according to MasterCard Advisor’s SpendingPulse survey. “The focus on creating experiences stayed at the top of many lists, “ said MasterCard’s Sarah Quinlan. “From dining out to planning trips to memorable pieces of jewelry, we saw increases in those categories that will drive future stories beyond just a package exchanged with a friend or family member.” — INSTORE, 12/30/14


Bank Woes Are a ‘Game Changer’

2 The EGL controversy, Signet’s takeover of Zale, the sale of Hearts On Fire … there were a lot of big stories in 2014, but according to both Rapaport and Bain, the issue that will have the biggest future impact will be “the reduction of bank credit available to the diamond industry.” — Rapaport Tradewire, 12/26/14

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‘Marsala’ is Pantone 2015’s Color of the Year

3 Design consulting company Pantone has chosen Marsala, the color of a “naturally robust and earthy wine red,” as its color of 2015. According to the Gemewizard color code, Marsala corresponds to such gems as almandine/pyrope garnet and red zircon. — IDEX Online, 12/4/14


Pandora Tops Google Searches

4 Pandora ranked No. 1 among Google searches for jewelry brands in 2014, while Bethany Mota topped the list for fashion designers. — JCK Online, 12/16/14

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Blue Nile Dings Brick and Mortars

5 Just before Christmas, Blue Nile unveiled a study claiming shoppers overpay by as much as 72 percent when they buy an engagement ring at a brick-and-mortar store (although the price gap with independent local jewelers was just 12 percent.) — Globalnews-wire.com, 12/10/14


Apple Watch: Haute Tech?

6 Internal hiring documents show that Apple is recruiting retail candidates with “a fashion or luxury background,” suggesting Apple is looking to position its much anticipated smart watch as a luxury jewelry item. — 9to5mac.com, 12/11/14


Millennials Are Now Jewelers’ Biggest Clients

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7 Millennial consumers — particularly those between ages 25 and 34 — spent more on jewelry than any other age group in 2013, according to newly released data from the government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey. Historically, older, affluent Boomers have been the No. 1 jewelry purchasing group. — IDEX Online, 12/7/14


Scott Kay Dies

8 Jewelry designer Scott Kay, known especially for his bridal collections, died suddenly of a heart attack on Dec. 4. He was 57. A statement from Scott Kay Inc. said it would continue to operate despite its founder’s death. — INSTORE, 12/7/14


Digital Could Be ‘The New China’

9 High-end brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, which had avoided selling their goods online, are rethinking the Web as the lucrative Chinese market cools. According to a study by Bain, 40 percent of high-end brands don’t sell via the Web, because they say it detracts from the store experience. — BusinessWeek, 12/30/14


High Prices Cause Pain on the Brain

10 Researchers using brain scans have found ads that use social influence are among the most effective, especially around the holidays. “If the price is high, the brain encodes that as pain,” neuro-economics professor Paul Zak told CBS New York. “It’s painful to think of giving up $5,000 for this beautiful necklace for my wife, but I’m balancing that by how much she’ll like it and by refection, how much she will like me.” — CBS New York, 12/17/14

This article originally appeared in the February 2015 edition of INSTORE.

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