The last few Christmas seasons have been decent but unspectacular.
This long, hot summer is winding down, and the industry is beginning to turn its nervous eyes toward the holiday. Let me be the first with a prediction: This Christmas won’t be much different than those in prior years.
That just makes sense. The last few jewelry holidays have been decent but unspectacular, with overall sales rising a percentage point or two. That largely tracks U.S. GDP, which has generally been growing about 1 or 2 percent.
The industry isn’t doing anything particularly noteworthy or novel that would allow it to outrun GDP. We don’t see many new products or many new ad campaigns. There is little to lure consumers into stores. So not much will change.
It wasn’t always like this. For decades, De Beers’ U.S. account used to announce a big holiday campaign, and sometimes a new product, every September. Some initiatives were more successful than others, but at least it did something. And since the campaigns always changed, there was always something new to excite the trade and sometimes consumers.
Now, we do see some companies—primarily the bigger ones, with resources—trying new things. In 2015, Signet introduced the two-stone ring with an ambitious campaign. That paid off. Pandora advertised heavily and that worked, too. De Beers’ last-minute category-driving campaign probably goosed some sales.