Here’s some uplifting news for fashion jewelry retailers to counter all the gloom and doom they hear from the media, but first some bigger news for residents of New Orleans and South Louisiana. New Orleans got its white Christmas early with snow covering the ground for the first time since December, 2004-enough snow to build a snowman spotted on the way to work. This might not be exciting in Minnesota, but many kids in New Orleans saw snow for the first time.
Now back to the subject of wholesale fashion jewelry and how it is selling. A steady stream of gloomy news definitely impacted wholesale fashion jewelry in November with our own statistics showing a 34% slowdown compared to November 2007. The initial shock had retailers in a cautious mood as they under-bought to stock for the Holidays.
Normally fashion jewelry in moderate price ranges enjoy immunity to economic slowdowns. The fact is pointed out in Fashion Jewelry, Fuel, and the Economy that traces fashion jewelry sales through the recessions that occurred in the last 25 years.
Economic slowdowns often have positive effects on fashion jewelry and accessories. Women update last year’s wardrobe with fresh accessories and fashion jewelry. Also there’s the “lipstick effect” noticed by Estee Lauder in the recession of 1991. Lipstick sales increased as luxury goods in department stores slowed down, showing that women don’t quit buying-they just buy lower priced items.
Trends are more important than economy in fashion jewelry sales. Minimalism in the mid nineties pushed the natural look with small or no jewelry. While the media raved about the economy, fashion jewelry businesses were in troubled waters.
Today’s trends definitely favor fashion jewelry with emphasis on color and dramatic size. These qualities along with the beauty of classic jewelry so prevalent in the trends makes affordable fashion jewelry irresistible.
So after a dismal November, what’s going on in December? The initial shock has passed and retailers have customers needing fashion jewelry to accessorize holiday apparel and give as gifts. Retail shops are surprised that Christmas shopping isn’t as bleak as the picture painted by the media and quick restock is needed to satisfy shoppers. Our figures for December are 7% better than 2007 ands the mood of fashion retailers is changing. Fashion jewelry businesses can expect a return to normal as we move through 2009, but don’t look for the media to report it because it lacks the drama that increases viewing audiences.