Majors

Major Jewelers (Mostly) Optimistic About the Holiday Season

MajorsDec 18, 2023

Major Jewelers (Mostly) Optimistic About the Holiday Season

From Signet Jewelers to Macy’s, here’s how the biggest jewelry sellers are feeling about the most wonderful time of the year.

Rocksbox holiday jewelry
A selection of holiday jewels from Signet Jewelers-owned banner Rocksbox. See how Signet Jewelers, Brilliant Earth, and other major jewelry sellers are feeling about the holiday season ahead.
New York—The holiday season began on a high note for retailers, with consumers hitting the stores in record numbers over Thanksgiving weekend.

From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 200.4 million consumers went shopping, according to the National Retail Federation, exceeding the organization’s expectation of 182 million and surpassing last year’s total of 196.7 million shoppers.

Still, economic pressures and geopolitical tensions could make for a not-so-merry season.

Here’s how a few of the major jewelry sellers are feeling about the holidays.

Signet Jewelers: Confident about brighter days ahead

Signet Jewelers posted double-digit declines in its recent third quarter as engagement ring sales slowed.

On an earnings call, CEO Virginia Drosos said fine jewelry is “experiencing its second COVID,” referencing the industry’s initial struggles during the early days of the pandemic, but remains confident a rebound is ahead.

The jewelry giant noted an uptick in the number of engagement rings sold through Black Friday weekend.

Over Black Friday weekend, jewelry under $1,000 was popular, with the Banter by Piercing Pagoda banner doing particularly well.

Brilliant Earth: Planning on a profitable quarter

Brilliant Earth posted muted sales growth in its third quarter, also noting a decline in bridal sales.

The retailer lowered its fiscal outlook to “reflect the current normalizing jewelry industry conditions.”

Still, CEO Beth Gerstein ended its recent earnings call on a positive note.

“The bulk of the season lies ahead and we believe that we are well-positioned to deliver another profitable fourth quarter with the largest quarterly sales in our history,” she said.

Movado: Cautious amid uncertainties

Movado Group also had a rough third quarter, seeing a double-digit drop in sales as it continued to struggle in its largest markets, the United States and Europe.

In light of the “uncertain” retail environment, the company lowered its fiscal-year guidance.

On a recent earnings call, Movado CEO Efraim Grinberg noted that while the company has seen trends improve in recent weeks, due in part to its new Movado marketing initiatives, it is still facing a challenging market in the U.S. and Europe.

“As we proceed through the important holiday quarter, we are taking a cautious view while supporting important marketing initiatives to ensure that our brands get stronger while we navigate the uncertain retail climate and steer clear of the excessive promotional environment,” he said.

The company will also be airing new television commercials on cable networks and YouTube TV.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Macy’s: Still a ‘gift-giving destination’

Macy’s posted declining revenue in its recent third quarter, noting a drop in both brick-and-mortar and online sales.

The storied retailer has been struggling in the face of online competition and reportedly has received a $5.8 billion buyout offer.

Macy’s took the No. 7 spot on National Jeweler’s 2022 “$100 Millon Supersellers” list, with an estimated $1.7 billion in jewelry and watch sales.

In a press release about its results, CEO Jeff Gennette touted Macy’s “better-than-expected top- and bottom-line third quarter results” and said the retailer was “entering the holiday period in a healthy inventory position.”

“Our portfolio of nameplates are leading gift-giving destinations across the value spectrum offering exclusive products. We have refined our gift assortment, simplified our promotions, and improved our shopping experience,” he said.

Target: Catering to price-conscious shoppers

Target posted a 5 percent dip in comparable sales in its third quarter with discretionary categories driving the decline.

The company sits at No. 11 on National Jeweler’s 2022 $100 Million Supersellers list, with jewelry and watch sales of $617 million.

On an earnings call, CEO Brian Cornell highlighted the pressures being faced by consumers, noting that while inflation rates have moderated prices in key categories are still up significantly compared with 2020.

Food prices for families have increased 25 to 30 percent, while baby food and formula is up 30 percent. Energy prices are also up.

“As a result, this holiday season, we’re focusing on highlighting the amazing value we’ve always provided in our end caps, promotions, and the price points we feature in our marketing. As we built our plans for this holiday season, we maintained our cautious inventory positioning in markdown-sensitive categories,” said Cornell.

While Target is “cautious” in its near-term outlook, it’s “playing the long game,” by investing in its stores, supply chain, team, digital capabilities, and its assortment to “provide the newness, value and convenience our guests want for this holiday season and beyond.”

“At the heart of it all is our focus on being our guests’ happy place and delivering the joyful shopping experience that makes Target, Target.”

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