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U.S. Jewelry Store Sales +8% to $2B

Higher Energy Prices Will Derail Consumers

Sep 12, 2014 10:13 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... U.S. jewelry store sales jumped 8 percent year on year to $2.37 billion in July, according to the government's retail survey. The increase for jewelry stores was stronger than the overall jewelry and watch sector, which recorded a preliminary increase of 4.3 percent to $5.576 billion in July. (Read more.)

Jewelry store sales for the first seven months of 2014 have risen 4.8 percent year on year to $17.704 billion. Meanwhile, jewelry and watch sales across all retail outlets has risen 2.6 percent to $40.021 billion, as estimated by Rapaport Newsjewelry store

Advanced estimates for sales at U.S. department stores in August continued to show a  slow and steady decline, as has been the case for most of the past two years. Department store sales fell 1.5 percent year on year to $14.028 billion in August; however,  retail and food sales during the month rose 5 percent to $444.4 billion.  Retail trade sales rose 4.8 percent.

U.S. chain-store sales in August increased 5.2 percent on a same-store sales basis, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), primarily due to back-to-school spending.

“With the back-to-school shopping season coming to a close, sales posted a very strong gain, with apparel stores closing out the month at their highest year-over-year gain in four months. It’s a great indicator that consumers are ready and willing to shop as the economy continues to improve,” said Jesse Tron, the spokesman for ICSC. “In fact, our back-to-school survey showed that on average, consumers are spending more this season ($325) on school items than last year ($284).” ICSC anticipates that comparable-store sales in September would increase between 4 percent and 5 percent.

Sterne Agee's chief economist, Lindsey Piegza, concluded that the increase in retail sales during August was a "welcomed step in the right direction." Consumers appeared to have had a little more cash to spend  during the month due to lower energy prices -- especially gasoline. "The fastest way to derail the consumer is sustained, heightened energy prices. On the flip side, continued price reprieve at the pump will help maintain a modest but positive spending pace in the third quarter, despite minimal improvement in wage growth," Piegza stated in a note to client.

Nonetheless, consumers, on average, will need sustained and robust income gains in order to maintain the current level of  retail sales gains, Piegza stated.


 

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Tags: department store, international council of shopping centers, Jeff Miller, Jewelry sales, jewelry stores, retail, sterne agee, watches
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