Mother’s Day has traditionally offered a strong selling opportunity to the jewelry industry, but with the world caught in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, questions were being asked whether 2020 would prove an exception to the rule. Actual sales data is not yet available, but indications is that consumers still celebrated their partners, matriarchs and grandparents, albeit modestly as one would expect in a time of economic hardship.
Indeed, according to a survey conduct just prior to Mother’s Day 2020 in the United States by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics, while 71 percent of respondents were social distancing and are concerned about the pandemic’s impact on their personal health and financial stability, they were still planning to spend as much, if not more, this year than they have in the past.
According to the NRF, for many consumers the coronavirus had put a spotlight on opportunities to celebrate and show their loved ones they care. In fact, 78 percent say that celebrating Mother’s Day is important to them this year, given the current state of the pandemic.
“Families are in an unusual position this year,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Some consumers are looking to make up for the fact they can’t take mom out by sending her something a little extra special this year.”
At the same time, reported the NRF, many households are dealing with real financial hardships, health concerns and other burdens as a result of the pandemic and might not be in a position to splurge on gifts. Some 77 percent of those who are spending less on Mother’s Day this year say it is due to the impact of COVID-19.
PIVOTING TO ONLINE SALES
Speaking to a Forbes reporter, Amanda Gizzi, spokesperson for Jewelers of America (JA), noted that typically 9 percent of jewelry sales take place in May because of Mother’s Day, making the occasion the second busiest time of year for jewelers just behind the end of the year holiday season.
Given the lockdown still being enforced over large parts of the United States, jewelers found themselves having to pivot, expending as much effort as they could to online sales.
“E-commerce and virtual appointments reaching them at home replaced the one-on-one customer service models retailers have been accustomed to,” Gizzi told Forbes.”It is at uncertain times that we turn to quality and things with meaning. Mother’s Day 2020 was more important than ever for many Americans, and any jewelry received will forever have a remarkable story attached to it,” Gizzi said to Forbes.
Nonetheless, in the opinion of JA, expects final sales numbers to be lower than last year, even though the positive sentiment and emotional connection to jewelry were expected to be up, because they express appreciation for loved ones during a time of difficulty.
23 PERCENT OF MOTHERS RECEIVE FINE JEWELRY IN 2020
While definitive sales data is not yet available, a survey carried out by MVI Marketing of 405 sons, daughter, husbands and mothers, all of whom are fine jewelry consumers, did provide an indication on what transpired in U.S. households during this year’s Mother’s Day.
According to the survey, while 38 percent of people did not visit their mother’s as they normally would do on this day, 83 percent of mother’s did receive a gift. Some 23 percent of all responding mothers said that they received fine jewelry, with 11 percent saying they received another form of jewelry or a watch.
But the COVID epidemic did affect buying behavior, with 22 percent of respondents saying they spent less on gifts this year, and collectively 12 percent noting that celebrating was hard because members of family or people they knew were sick or had died from the disease.
Some 22 percent of mothers said that they would have liked to have had received fine jewelry as a gift for Mother’s Day, but their family did not have the budget this year. Interestingly that sentiment was only expressed by 7 percent of male respondents.