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Watches and Jewelry - US - March 2019

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, jewelry includes costume jewelry (made with inexpensive materials or imitation gems) and fine jewelry (made out of precious metals, such as gold or platinum, which may also contain precious gemstones). Items include earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings as well as watches for both women and men. Smartwatches are referenced and included in this report but were covered in greater detail in Mintel’s Wearable Technology – US, December 2018. Smartwatches are defined as mobile devices with a touchscreen display, designed to be worn on the wrist.

"The watches and jewelry category is growing, but minimally. Changes in traditional lifestyles and gifting occasions could threaten future purchase occasions. Competition is also growing, with new retailers emerging online and retailers outside the channel often being favored for their convenience and value. Retailers need to persuade consumers to shop for more occasions and recipients. Making use of digital capabilities to connect with more consumers, by offering better product discovery tools and more flexible options, should help stimulate more purchasing."
- Alexis DeSalva, Retail & Apparel Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Issue: Nearly half of consumers aren’t shopping the category
  • Opportunity: Encouraging self-splurges and “just because” gifting
  • Issue: Jewelry stores are losing sales to competitors outside the channel
  • Opportunity: Using digital capabilities to attract and convert browsers to buyers

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Issue: Nearly half of consumers aren’t shopping the category
            • Opportunity: Encouraging self-splurges and “just because” gifting
              • Issue: Jewelry stores are losing sales to competitors outside the channel
                • Opportunity: Using digital capabilities to attract and convert browsers to buyers
                  • What it means
                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                    • Minimal growth expected
                      • Lifestyle changes are impacting sales
                        • Uncertainty affects precious metal prices
                        • Market Size and Forecast

                          • Small but positive change expected to continue, with growth anticipated in watches and jewelry
                            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of watches and jewelry, at current prices, 2013-23
                            • Figure 2: Total US sales and forecast of watches and jewelry, at current prices, 2013-23
                            • Figure 3: Total US retail sales of watches and jewelry, by segment, at current prices, 2016 and 2018
                        • Market Breakdown

                          • Watches are a smaller share of sales but drive higher increases than jewelry
                            • Figure 4: Total US retail sales and forecast of watches and jewelry, at current prices, 2013-23
                        • Market Factors

                          • Lifestyle changes mean fewer needs for milestone purchases, more opportunities for self-purchases
                            • Figure 5: Married share of population, 2008-18
                            • Figure 6: Households, by detailed type, 2008 and 2018
                          • Pricing concerns pose a risk for future growth
                            • Figure 7: GDP change from previous period, Q1 2013-Q3 2018
                          • Focus on health creates need for functional devices
                            • Digital is crucial for future growth
                              • Figure 8: Tiffany & Co. – Diamond Source Initiative, January 2019
                              • Figure 9: eBay Fashion | Wear It Your Way, March 2018
                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                            • New competitors drive interest in and availability of preferred stones
                              • Many feel there’s no reason to shop and those who do are shopping outside the channel
                                • Technology evolution will impact purchases
                                • What’s Happening?

                                  • Affordable DTC brands keep consumers interested in diamonds and gemstones
                                    • Figure 10: What is a laboratory-grown diamond?, June 2018
                                    • Figure 11: Lightbox Jewelry Instagram post, January 2019
                                  • Retailers build on the popularity of diamonds and precious metals
                                    • Figure 12: TURF analysis – Preferred stones and materials, December 2018
                                    • Figure 13: Make a Wish | New Pandora Wish Collection, February 2019
                                    • Figure 14: How to Stack and Style Rings, April 2017
                                • What’s Struggling?

                                  • What’s stopping consumers from shopping?
                                    • Figure 15: Reasons for not buying, December 2018
                                  • External competitors are stealing customers
                                    • Figure 16: Amazon email campaign, February 2019
                                • What’s Next?

                                  • Continued focus on the resell and secondhand marketplace
                                    • Figure 17: The RealReal Instagram photo, December 2018
                                    • Figure 18: The RealReal Instagram photo, January 2019
                                    • Figure 19: eBay Instagram photo, July 2018
                                  • Wearables continue to evolve
                                    • A need for transparency
                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                      • Self-purchases are popular, but nearly half of consumers aren’t shopping
                                        • Traditional retailers are losing to convenience- and value-based competitors
                                          • Women can be prompted to purchase without a specific reason, but functional features attract men
                                            • Diamonds and gold are the way to consumers’ hearts
                                            • Items Purchased and Recipients

                                              • Key takeaways:
                                                • Almost half made no purchase
                                                  • Figure 20: Items purchased, December 2018
                                                • Self-purchases are more common than gifts for others
                                                  • Figure 21: Item recipients – NET purchases, December 2018
                                                • Women are treating themselves, men do more gifting
                                                  • Figure 22: Item recipients – NET purchases, by gender, December 2018
                                                • Jewelry self-purchases are higher among Black shoppers
                                                  • Figure 23: Le Tote email campaign, February 2019
                                                  • Figure 24: Item recipients – NET purchases, Black consumers vs overall, December 2018
                                              • Reasons for Buying

                                                • Key takeaways:
                                                  • Half of shoppers buy jewelry or watches as a treat
                                                    • Figure 25: Reasons for buying watches or jewelry, December 2018
                                                    • Figure 26: Sperry email campaign, February 2019
                                                    • Figure 27: Reasons for buying, by gender and age, December 2018
                                                    • Figure 28: Items purchased: smart- and fitness watches and fitness trackers, by gender and age, December 2018
                                                  • Half of purchases for others are for the holidays
                                                    • Figure 29: Reasons for gifting, December 2018
                                                  • Older shoppers are gifting for the holidays
                                                    • Figure 30: Buying jewelry/watches as a holiday gift, by age and gender, December 2018
                                                    • Figure 31: Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards email campaign, February 2019
                                                • Retailers Shopped

                                                  • Key takeaways:
                                                    • Traditional jewelry retailers are losing share to convenience and value players
                                                      • Figure 32: Retailers shopped – NET any shopping, December 2018
                                                    • In-store shopping still higher for most channels
                                                      • Figure 33: Retailers shopped, online vs in-store, December 2018
                                                      • Figure 34: Catbird Instagram, January 2019
                                                    • Who’s shopping traditional retailers?
                                                      • Figure 35: Shopping at jewelry or accessories retailers, by gender, December 2018
                                                      • Figure 36: Shopping at jewelry or accessories retailers, 18-44s vs over-45s, December 2018
                                                    • Who’s shopping outside the channel?
                                                      • Figure 37: Nonjewelry retailers shopped – NET any shopping, by gender and age, December 2018
                                                  • Attitudes toward Shopping for Watches and Jewelry

                                                    • Key takeaways:
                                                      • Men research, women consider return options
                                                        • Figure 38: Attitudes toward shopping for watches and jewelry, December 2018
                                                      • Older women don’t need a reason to shop, but men seek function
                                                        • Figure 39: Attitudes toward shopping for watches and jewelry, by gender and age, December 2018
                                                      • Black consumers put thought into purchases
                                                        • Figure 40: “It’s important to research before buying” (% agree), Black consumers vs overall, December 2018
                                                    • Preferred Stones and Materials

                                                      • Key takeaways:
                                                        • Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
                                                          • Figure 41: Preferred stones and materials, by gender, December 2018
                                                          • Figure 42: Tiffany & Co. Instagram post, December 2018
                                                        • Gold color preferences change with age
                                                          • Figure 43: Preferred types of gold, by gender and age, December 2018
                                                        • Preference for diamonds and gold exceeds interest in leather and faux stones
                                                          • Black consumers more likely to prefer diamonds and gold
                                                            • Figure 44: Preferred stones and materials (select), Black consumer vs overall, December 2018
                                                        • Style Preferences

                                                          • Key takeaways:
                                                            • Simplicity and versatility reign
                                                              • Figure 45: Style preferences, December 2018
                                                              • Figure 46: Style preferences, by gender, December 2018
                                                            • Encouraging incremental sales through various styles and price points
                                                              • Figure 47: Women’s style preferences, 18-44s vs over-45s, December 2018
                                                            • Black consumers are adventurous with their style
                                                              • Figure 48: Style preferences, by race and Hispanic origin, December 2018
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Sales data
                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                    • Direct marketing creative
                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                        • Appendix – The Market

                                                                            • Figure 49: Total US retail sales and forecast of watches and jewelry, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2013-23

                                                                        Watches and Jewelry - US - March 2019

                                                                        US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)