Jostling for Jewelry's Top SpotsJune 08, 23
Signet remains the biggest jewelry retailer in the US, by a mile, in National Jeweler's latest list of $100m Supersellers. And Walmart is still in second place.
But elsewhere there's been a fair bit of jostling for positions. In fact, for the first time in recent years there's been a re-shuffle of all the remaining Top Ten places.
Richemont is third, up from sixth last year. Amazon drops from third to fourth. LVMH, now incorporating Tiffany, jumps from eight to five. And Costco, in fourth place since 2019, drops to six.
Macy's falls from five to seven and Nonatum is up from nine to eight. Pandora's ascent came to an abrupt end. It was placed 16th in 2020, 13th in 2021, and 7th in 2022. This year it's 9th. And Bucherer is up from 11 to 10.
The rankings are based on annual sales figures during 2022 for the biggest watch and jewelry retailers in the US. It was a tough year, with overall growth declining month by month and actually shrinking towards the year end.
Signet maintained its long-held top spot, albeit with a marginal drop in sales from $7.3bn to $7.29bn. But that's still more than double that of Walmart, its closest rival, which saw a slight increase in sales, from $3.29bn to $3.38bn.
Signet with over 2,800 jewelry outlets, blames an "engagement gap" for a fall in its bridal sales. The average time from first date to wedding is three years - so we're now feeling the effects of Covid lockdowns limiting opportunities for romance.
Walmart dabbles in jewelry, by comparison. It may be the second biggest player in the sector, but jewelry accounted for just 0.6 per cent of its $572.75bn sales.
Aside from Walmart, three of the other top 10 spots are occupied by non- specialists - Amazon, Costco and Macy's - for whom jewelry represents only a fraction of overall sales.
Let's zoom out for a little perspective. Total jewelry sales in the US were running at a steady $50bn to $60bn from 2006 to 2020 (Statista figures for jewelry), but leapt to $86.4bn in 2021 and $91.5bn in 2022.
There were 36 retailers selling over $100m last year in the National Jeweler list (down from 38 for the last three years and 40 in 2019). Between them they accounted for $35bn of 2022 sales. The remainder went to smaller operators, mom and pop stores (there are around 20,000 jewelry stores in the US) and of course, online.
The Supersellers list is only a snapshot, a very broad-brush representation of a complex and highly nuanced industry. But headline figures are headline figures.
And maybe next year we'll see even more change. Richemont, the Swiss luxury conglomerate, has insisted it's not for sale, despite rumors that French rival LVMH is on the prowl.
The two empires, with combined sales of over $6bn, would knock Walmart off its number two spot. LVMH's acquisition of Tiffany & Co was an on-off-on-again affair, so never say never in the world of M&A. Watch this space.
Have a fabulous weekend