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US Holiday Jewelry Sales Fall 5%

US jewelry revenues slipped during the 2022 holiday period amid inflation and a shift toward spending on experiences, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Retail sales for the category declined 5.4% year on year between November 1 and December 24, the data provider reported Monday. The drop also reflected a comparison with last year’s unusually strong season, when jewelry sales jumped 32% versus 2020 and 26% relative to 2019.

“This holiday retail season looked different than years past,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard. “Retailers discounted heavily, but consumers diversified their holiday spending to accommodate rising prices and an appetite for experiences and festive gatherings post-pandemic.”

Overall retail spending climbed 8% year on year for the two-month period, excluding automotive sales, with e-commerce growing 11% and in-store purchasing advancing 7%. Online spending comprised 22% of total retail sales this holiday season, up from 21% a year ago.

Aside from jewelry, electronics also fell, down 5.3% year on year. Meanwhile, spending at restaurants jumped 15%, “building on the ongoing demand for experiences,” Mastercard noted. Layout on apparel rose 4.4%, while spending at department stores was up 1%.

Black Friday remained the season’s number-one spending day, advancing 12% year on year. Purchases on the Saturdays during December followed close behind, Mastercard explained.

“Inflation altered the way US consumers approached their holiday shopping — from hunting for the best deals to making trade-offs that stretched gift-giving budgets,” said Michelle Meyer, chief economist for North America at the Mastercard Economics Institute. “Consumers and retailers navigated the season well, displaying resilience amid increasing economic pressures.”


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