The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) has surveyed its independent retailer members, who have almost 300 doors between them, to establish an overall picture of Christmas trading on the high street in the UK and Ireland. From the responses, more than half (55%) reported that jewellery sales overall were the same or better than the previous year.
Online sales were even stronger: those with transactional websites were even more positive in their sales feedback, with 74% seeing sales value higher than or the same as Christmas 2021.
However, while sales figures were encouraging, Company of Master Jewellers retailers did report that footfall on the high street was down overall like for like. Some 59% of respondents reported an average sale price of less than £200; 30% of respondents said that customers spent between £201 and £500; and 11% of retailers saw an average sale price above £500. Further insights indicated that the percentage share of sales under £200 was up compared to last year.
Despite the continued cost of living pressures, when retailers were asked to identify their biggest opportunities in 2023, many reported that they planned to focus on their digital offering, including increasing social media presence, paid advertising and driving online sales. There is still a general consensus among retailers that the independent jewellery market is relatively resilient and that upcoming occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are there to be optimised, and that the bridal market still remains buoyant post-pandemic, which is an area where independent retailers still seek to provide a tailored offering to consumers.
Emmet Cummins, Managing Director of the Company of Master Jewellers, said: “One of our biggest priorities continues to be focusing on digital development, doing everything we can to support our members by offering the insight and supplier members they need to remain competitive in today’s market. Equally, we will be working hard with our retailer members to help them promote their USPs as independent retailers to their end customers.”
The Company of Master Jewellers has over 160 retailer members across the UK and Ireland, with almost 300 doors between them. To find out more, visit www.masterjewellers.co.uk.