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Fashion Jewelry To Lead Market In USA


Fashion jewelry to lead the way

- Jewelry stores to lose overall market share of jewelry sales
- Powerhouse designer brands to grab increased share of overall jewelry sales

The fashion jewelry segment is the brightest category for jewelry sales now. That is likely not going to change until at least 2020.

Fashion jewelry sales are strongest for two reasons:
1. there are now more women with income and they are making more money
2. individualism is on the increase so brands have gained traction

More women making money

Exhibit 11-1: Number of professional women with full-time work (2004-2014)

number of women with full time work 2.png

Source: U.S Bureau of Labor, Equity Communications

The number of working professional women has grown 41.3 percent since 2004. Indeed, women now make up 48 percent of workers with at least a bachelor's degree, up from 44 percent in 2004.

“Women see a clear link between fashion, jewelry and self-expression”

In general, women do not buy expensive jewelry for themselves. They overwhelmingly prefer to receive expensive jewelry as gifts from men. For instance, a 2012 survey by Bain and Co confirms that women receive 60 to 80 percent of their diamonds as gifts.

Despite such preferences, a growing number of working women are demonstrating independency and self-sufficiency. These financially empowered women have the freedom and confidence to go into stores to buy exquisite jewelry for themselves.

They see a clear link between fashion, jewelry, and self-expression

In fact, jewelry as a fashion statement is behind the rise of branded jewelry. Branded jewelry is becoming more popular and designer names are grabbing global market share of jewelry sales.

Do not get it twisted though; while consumption trends point to rising popularity of branded jewelry, consumers outside the high luxury jewelry segment are resisting premium prices for branded jewelry. Branded jewelry in mass markets has found traction at lower price points (generally below US$500) than at higher price points. The market is still very competitive and consumers are more knowledgeable about options available to them.

With this in mind, it is inevitable that specialty jewelry stores - small businesses in the majority of cases - will give up more market share of overall jewelry sales.

Established designer brands have noticed the opportunity available in jewelry and are now leveraging reputations earned in fashion and accessories to launch jewelry lines. Powerhouse designer brands like Michael Kors are launching collections and finding success in the jewelry space. These jewelry lines are resonating with consumers including in the important bridal jewelry segment.

Today's jewelry consumers are very much focused on styling and design - a theme very much in tune with the individualism movement of our time. If consumers are not able to customize jewelry and make it their own creations, they are going for reputable jewelry brands and jewelry by well-known designers - brands that they identify with in related areas.

To be brutally honest about it, traditional specialty jewelry stores have neither the marketing budgets nor
the required fashion experience to stand up to these powerful invaders.

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