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Companies in this industry sell jewelry, silverware, watches, and clocks from physical retail establishments. Major US companies include Sterling Jewelers and Zale (both units of Bermuda-based Signet Jewelers), as well as Tiffany; other industry leaders include the retail operations of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group (China), Christ (Germany), and Richemont (Switzerland).
Global jewelry sales from all channels are expected to grow at a rate of 5% to 6% per year, reaching nearly $280 billion by 2020, according to a 2014 report from consulting firm McKinsey & Co. Major markets include North America, China, and Japan. Emerging markets, such as India and the Middle East, are key growth opportunities for the industry.
The US jewelry retail industry includes about 23,500 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $30 billion.
Demand is driven largely by consumers' disposable income. Profitability depends on merchandising and marketing. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing. Small jewelers can compete with large chains by establishing favorable reputations. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies generate about 40% of revenue.
Jewelry stores face competition from department stores, mass merchants and warehouse clubs, home shopping TV channels, online retailers, and auction sites. Mass merchants have been able to cut prices and take market share. In 2014, specialty jewelers held about 43% of the market, compared to about 50% in the 1990s, ...
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