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Jewelry Among Top Performers at Major Retailers

Macy’s and J.C. Penney have created destination zones for the category.
Nov 24, 2019 8:44 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Two of the top US department stores noted strong jewelry sales in the third fiscal quarter, even as their overall sales disappointed.

“In terms of specific results, our top-performing merchandise categories in the quarter included fine jewelry, footwear, men’s and women’s apparel,” J.C. Penney chief financial officer Bill Wafford said last week on an analyst call transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “Our fine-jewelry business once again delivered solid sales results,” he reported. Comparative-store sales for the division increased, with strength in categories such as modern bride, diamonds, gems and silver, Wafford added.

The retailer will also create a “destination” business for jewelry, noting customers want easier shopping experiences and a fun place to share with others.

“We have created differentiating elements that will deliver on these imperatives,” J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau said. “A destination to complete the look, the all-you zone, showcasing fashion jewelry and accessories.”

Macy’s, which also incorporates jewelry into a “destination” business, saw solid sales in the category as well.

“We had strong performance in mattresses, fine jewelry, fragrances, dresses, men’s active and men’s tailored,” Macy’s chief financial officer Paula Price said on the company’s analyst call.

The company is looking to its destination categories, which account for 40% of the retailer’s total sales, to help drive holiday purchases, Macy’s president Hal Lawton noted on the call.

“I think what I’d just say about our destination businesses is they’re in great shape for the holiday,” he explained. “I’d highlight things like our gifts under strategy and beauty, our holiday party-dress lineup, [and] our elevated jewelry assortment.”

J. C. Penney’s revenue fell 10% to $2.38 billion in the third quarter, which ended November 2, while sales at Macy’s dropped 4.3% to $5.17 billion for the same period.

Image: Macy’s flagship Manhattan store. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Bill Wafford, Hal Lawton, J.C. Penney, Jill Soltau, Macy’s, Paula Price, Rapaport News
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