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Companies in this industry sell jewelry, silverware, watches, and clocks from physical retail establishments. Major US companies include Sterling Jewelers (a unit of London-based Signet Jewelers), Tiffany, and Zale.
The US jewelry retail industry includes about 20,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $30 billion. Economic growth and consumer confidence are key drivers.
Jewelry sales depend largely on consumers' disposable income. Profitability depends on merchandising and effective marketing. Small jewelers can effectively compete with large chains because price isn't the main factor determining sales. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies generate about 40 percent of revenue.
Jewelry is sold not only by specialized jewelry retailers, but also by department stores and mass merchants. Because regular gross margins are very high, often 50 percent, mass merchants have been able to cut prices and take market share. Wal-Mart and Macy's are among the largest jewelry retailers in the US.
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Jewelry is often classified as bridal merchandise (engagement, bridal, and anniversary rings); fashion jewelry (rings, bracelets, earrings, pins, gold chains); and watches, silver flatware, and other giftware. Diamond jewelry and loose diamonds account for the largest share of total jewelry store sales (45 percent); watches for 13 percent, gold jewelry for 10 percent; and colored gemstone jewelry (rubies, sapphires, emeralds, etc.) 8 percent.
Jewelry is expensive, intimidating, difficult for consumers to evaluate, and usually not branded. Purchases therefore require a good ...
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