Despite some jewelers’ dire stories about lack of customers and plunging revenue, jewelry sales were about in line with expectations during the recessionary environment of 2008 and 2009.
While jewelry sales per household fell further than some other discretionary merchandise categories, it did not fall as much as some people would have expected.
Here are the highlights of findings about per-household jewelry sales versus other retail categories:
Total retail spending by each of America’s 120.8 million households fell by 2.8 percent to $49,067 from the prior year’s $50,486. Household income levels (pre-tax) fell by only 1.1 percent in 2009 versus 2008. Clearly, consumers cut back more on spending, in an effort to pay down debt and put money away in savings accounts. This trend is typical in a recessionary period.
Among major categories of goods and services, per-household expenditures for healthcare rose the most in 2009 versus 2008: +5.0 percent. Healthcare costs in the U.S. have continued to rise, despite the recessionary environment.
Expenditures for education in 2009 rose at the second greatest level: +2.1. This is due to a major increase in re-training of displaced workers who were gambling that more education – especially in the areas of technology and medical services – would help them find a new job and career.
The category with the largest decline was “gifts.” When the going gets tough, consumers cut back on discretionary purchases such as gifts for others.
Jewelry sales per household fell by 8.4 percent in 2009 versus the prior year.
Spending on apparel fell by 4.2 percent per household in 2009 versus the prior year.
Giving to charities barely fell in 2008: they were down 0.8 percent. Americans rallied to help those less fortunate.
There was a clear shift away from eating meals in restaurants to eating more meals at home.
Despite high gasoline prices, Americans’ transportation costs declined by double-digit levels on a per-household basis. Most of this decline came from lower gasoline prices and deferred auto maintenance expenses...
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