‘RAPAPORT… Jewelry sales in the US rose in February, buoyed by January’s government-stimulus payments and Valentine’s Day gift giving, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Sales in the category increased 6% year on year during the “month of love,” Mastercard said last week in a data release. E-commerce revenue soared 63%, while spending in all categories climbed 4.6% in total and grew 55% online.
“The infusion of stimulus payments in early January appeared to boost consumer spending in January and through early February,” Mastercard said.
Most states saw a jump in consumer spending, but a series of winter storms across the south affected sales in the area. Many cities in Texas saw year-on-year declines of 35% to 50% on February 17 amid freezing temperatures and power outages. The storms also affected online sales in the state. Since Texas typically accounts for approximately 10% to 11% of total US retail sales volume, the freak weather had a 2.2% negative impact on overall growth during the week ending February 20, Mastercard noted.
Sales recovered as the weather cleared, with daily spending increasing more than 30% year on year in several Texas locations.
“While in-store sales decelerated slightly as a result of winter storms, consumers are continuing to show up online,” said Mastercard senior adviser Steve Sadove. “From jewelry to apparel, e-commerce has opened doors for consumers to shop online while warmer days, widespread vaccinations and the loosening of restrictions appear on the horizon.”
Meanwhile, consumer outlay on furniture and home items continued, with the category rising 9% year on year. Although apparel decreased 5% during the period, e-commerce purchases for the division spiked. In February, 74% of all apparel purchases were made online, compared to 48% the previous year, Mastercard added.’
Source – Rapaport www.diamonds.net