Jewelry sales in the US more than doubled in March, buoyed by government stimulus payments and a broader reopening across the country, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Sales in the category increased 106% year on year during the month, also benefiting from a strong base comparison with March of last year, the first month in which US retail was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mastercard said last week. “In March 2020, discretionary sectors such as apparel and jewelry experienced a dip in spend when people first started social distancing; this has led to significantly elevated growth rates this March,” Mastercard noted. However, sales of jewelry also rose 30% when compared with March 2019, reflecting a release of pent-up demand. Spending in all retail categories climbed 26% year on year, and 14% since March 2019, while e-commerce revenue surged 57% versus March 2020 and 86% compared to the same month of 2019. The increase against the lower base comparison of 2020 was most noticeable in the latter part of the month, Mastercard explained. Sales in the first half of March increased 1.6% over the same period last year, before much of the country was in lockdown. The figure jumped 47% in the second half. Sales increased in all major retail sectors except for grocery stores, which fell 20% year on year. Spending at department stores was up 114%, furniture climbed 65%, and apparel rose 61%. Electronics and appliances saw the smallest increase, growing 2.7%, Mastercard added.