Jewelry sales in the US more than tripled in May, fueled by a release of pent-up demand amid a further reopening of the economy, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Sales in the category increased 203% year on year during the month, reflecting a comparison with May of last year, when many stores were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, jewelry spending also increased 45% versus 2019, Mastercard said last week. The return to work and school has also spurred purchasing across many product categories as consumers looked to refresh their wardrobes. “This year, the broader reopening brings an exciting wave of optimism as children prepare for another school year, and the grown-ups in their lives approach a similar ‘return-to-office’ scenario,” said Mastercard senior adviser Steve Sadove. “This...season will be defined by choice as online sales remain robust, brick-and-mortar browsing regains momentum, and strong promotions help retailers compete for shoppers’ wallets.” Spending in all retail categories climbed 12% year on year and advanced 10% over May 2019, while e-commerce revenue was up 1% versus May 2020 and skyrocketed 95% compared to the same month of 2019. Some of the sectors that suffered the most in 2020 are seeing the largest year-on-year gains, Mastercard added. Sales at department stores rose 212%, while lodging grew 254% and spending at restaurants climbed 85%.