Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

How was 2008 for the BIG retailers?

Posted on | January 6, 2009 | No Comments

Well, the fourth quarter numbers haven’t come out yet, but this Holiday season was a tough one for retail, especially jewelry and luxury.  According to National Jeweler, “online sales of jewelry and watches didn’t fare well this holiday season (Nov. 1-Dec. 24), falling 24 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the latest research from Comscore.”  And that’s just online jewelry sales.  I heard 80% down from last year on total jewelry sales, but I’m not sure if that’s true.

November Sales from the Majors:

Neiman Marcus down 11.9% – 28% in October

Saks down 5.2%

Macy’s down 13.3%

Zales and Kay’s tanked also.

BLUE NILE down 3% in Q3 – doesn’t sound like a lot but this is a company who was experiencing double digit growth for years.  We follow them very closely.

Stay tuned for the 4th quarter numbers to come out very soon – they won’t be pretty.  As for Samuelson’s Diamonds, we did just fine because we’re buying right – and that’s the key in these down times.  Use it as an opportunity to buy for cheap.  Then when the market comes back, which it will eventually, we’ll be in good shape.

I was walking though the mall last week and saw some crazy stuff.  Take a look at these retailers that are either closing up or marking stuff WAY DOWN after Christmas.  Whitehall Jewelers is done – Zales, Kay, Shaw’s and others are all trying to get rid of excess inventory.

Whitehall Jewelers closes all 373 stores

Whitehall closes all 373 stores

Shaw's clearing out

Shaw's clearing out

Blowout at Zales

Blowout at Zales

Piercing Pagoda is Zales

Piercing Pagoda is Zales