Luxury jewellery saw its sharpest current value decline in recent history in 2020, as a result of efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including travel restrictions, store closures and the cancellation of in-person social events. However, both luxury costume jewellery and luxury fine jewellery began their recovery by registering growth in 2021.
Further impacting sales of luxury jewellery throughout 2020 and much of 2021 was a lack of consumer need for such products, both during lockdowns and quarantines, and also throughout the rest of these years, as consumers continued to spend significantly more time at home than usual. With a lack of opportunities to show off their luxury jewellery at work or during large social events and gatherings, many consumers with discretionary income instead purchased goods and services to help make the time spent at home more comfortable.
While most domestic travel restrictions in the US were eased in the first half of 2021, alongside the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, many foreign travellers were unable to enter the US until November 2021. Pre-pandemic, wealthy foreign tourists represented a key driver of sales of luxury jewellery in the US, therefore brands and retailers increasingly shifted their marketing and product efforts to focus on attracting local consumers instead.
2022 is expected to be the strongest year of recovery for luxury jewellery, with the normalisation of travel, in-store shopping and in-person gatherings enabling the category to see a strong rebound. Efforts have been made by leading brands to expand their advertising and distribution presence in the US market, especially through digital channels, and they have highlighted the ability of luxury jewellery to appreciate in value, thus making it an investment vehicle.
Offering environmental merits, in addition to the ability to trade up to higher-end luxury brands and find unique pieces, the resale market had already been growing in popularity across personal luxury categories in the years leading up to the pandemic, with luxury jewellery especially benefiting from high resale values and universal sizing. While thrift stores, vintage shops and other store-based resale channels faced many of the same challenges as store-based primary market jewellery retailers throughout 2020 and at the beginning of 2021, the pandemic brought about increased interest in resale as consumers not only reassessed their spending priorities, but also had additional time to clean out their jewellery boxes and browse new digital native luxury resale players like The RealReal, Fashionphile and Vestiaire Collective, offering authenticated products from luxury brands.
As many consumers’ only available, or otherwise vastly preferred, sales channel for luxury jewellery throughout much of 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19-related restrictions, dramatic growth was seen in e-commerce penetration. Many consumers became increasingly comfortable shopping for and purchasing high-value jewellery entirely online, with many doing so for the first time.
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This is the aggregation of luxury fine jewellery and luxury costume jewellery.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Jewellery research and analysis database.
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