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U.S. Jewelry Store Sales +4% to $3B

Department Store Sales -6%
Apr 14, 2014 10:57 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... U.S. jewelry store sales rose 3.7 percent year on year to $2.914 billion in February, which included Valentine's Day. The rate of sales growth was identical to that of one year ago. Meanwhile, the consumer price index (CPI) for jewelry fell 2.6 percent during February. Jewelry store sales for the first two months of 2014 have risen 5.3 percent to $5.041 billion.

As previously reported by Rapaport News, preliminary jewelry sales across all retail segments in February improved 6 percent year on year to $5.842 billion, while watch sales jumped 8.9 percent to $783 million.

In broader retail news, advanced estimates for U.S. department store sales in  March fell 5.7 percent year on year to  $13.47 billion, marking a steeper decline than February when sales fell  4.7 percent to $11.843 billion. retail sales march

Advance estimates for all U.S. retail and food services sales for March rose 3.8 percent year on year to $433.9 billion. Retail trade sales were up 3.7 percent and  nonstore retailers reported a 7.8 percent increase.

Sterne Agee's chief economist, Lindsey Piegza, concluded that consumer spending "looks pretty healthy"  across a range of categories, including furniture sales, building materials, clothing and general merchandise.

"After months of winter weather slowing consumers' ability to spend out in the market place, there appears to be somewhat of a spring rebound in goods spending. But while a welcomed sign, we expect this rebound to be short lived as consumers weren't just confined to their homes but busy spending elsewhere from December to February, most notably on healthcare services and utilities," Piegza wrote in a note to clients.

Comparable-store sales  at U.S. chain-stores in March rose  3.6 percent year on year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist, vice president and director of research, said, “A number of retailers commented that the shift in Easter (April 20, 2014 versus March 31, 2013) had a negative impact on March sales. ICSC research estimates that the March Easter shift subtracted about one percentage point for the industry as a whole from monthly sales growth.  However, that one percentage point will be ‘added back’ to the April pace.”

ICSC anticipates that monthly comparable-store sales will increase by between 3.5 percent and 4 percent in April.

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Tags: chain-stores, department stores, february, ICSC, Jeff Miller, Jewelry, march, retail sales, sterne agee, stores
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