The busiest retail period of the year is upon the U.S. and while all surveys show that Christmas shoppers will indeed choose jewelry as gifts, the spread is fairly wide with Deloitte estimating this category at 18 percent of shoppers and Pricegrabber rating it at 28 percent. But Steelhouse noted that 14 percent of consumers intend to buy jewelry at some point between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. No matter which survey is used, however, shoppers this Christmas season not only expect but will hunt down the best deals they can before purchasing any gifts.
PriceGrabber revealed that 71 percent of consumers believe Thanksgiving weekend offers them the best retail deals either online or offline.
"Shoppers are eager to find deals this holiday season as they continue to keep a tight grip on their purse strings. Our survey data reveals that consumers believe some of the best prices will be offered over the Thanksgiving weekend, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday," said Rojeh Avanesian, the vice president of marketing and analytics of PriceGrabber.com. "While Black Friday remains a popular day for in-store shopping, we have seen a steady growth in online shopping on Cyber Monday. We expect this trend to continue as shoppers harness the power of the Internet to find the best pricing and take advantage of free shipping and other retailer incentives."
Meanwhile, MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse found that spending for most of the key Christmas gift categories for the first two weeks of November was down from one year ago. The dip ran contrary to both September and October, when SpendingPulse recorded that spending was up in nine of 11 categories, including jewelry, for both months.
“Our research shows that superstorm Sandy clearly depressed the start to the early holiday season with the storm significantly impacting the year-over-year growth rates in key holiday categories over the first week of November. By the end of the second week, there were signs of a bounce back in several categories,” said Michael McNamara, the global solutions leader for MasterCard SpendingPulse. “Over the last several years there has been a trend to launch the season earlier, before Thanksgiving – but 2012 is likely to be a more traditional season that kicks off closer to Black Friday and sprints its way to December 24.”
Jewelry sales also reflected a difficult first week in November as revenue plunged 6.7 percent year on year, according to SpendingPulse. However, in the second week of the month, jewelry sales rose 7.9 percent.