Leavitt stocks a display at Swalstead Jewelers in
Orlando, Florida, on May 1, 2013. More than
one-third of Americans are expected to buy jewelry
as a Mother's DAy gift this year.
Fla. — Whitney Court usually buys her mom flowers for
Mother’s Day, but this year she’s selected a gift
that won’t wilt: a silver necklace.
cost $165, about double the price of a dozen roses
delivered. But Court, a nanny who lives in Celebration,
Fla., said she’s working more hours and feeling more
rather spend a little bit more money and get her
something she can keep than something she’s going to
throw away in a week," Court said of her gift for
mom’s special day, which is May 12 this year.
than a third of Americans plan to join Court in buying
jewelry as a Mother’s Day gift, according to a
National Retail Federation survey — the highest
percentage in the survey’s nine-year history. Spending
on necklaces, bracelets, rings and charms is expected to
total $4.2 billion, up from $3.7 billion last year.
general, spending on jewelry in the U.S. has been on the
rise after dipping during the worst of the Great
Recession in 2008 and 2009. Sales reached $71.5 billion
in 2012, compared with $67.3 billion in 2011, according
to the Jewelers of America trade association.
seems to be the storm has passed, and everyone’s in
better mood," said Elliott Leavitt, owner of
Swalstead Jewelers in downtown Orlando.
high-end store saw a 25 percent sales jump in Valentine’s
Day sales. Hoping for similar increases this Mother’s
Day, Swalstead will host a show Thursday where a
designer will feature an expanded product line.
sales have increased, new stores have moved into Metro
Orlando. Pandora, a chain that specializes in charms,
has opened shops in centers including Mall at Millenia
and Altamonte Mall. On Park Avenue in Winter Park, Fla.,
new shops include Alex and Ani, which sells adjustable
charm jewelry, and Filthy Rich Jewelry.
Rich is a Winter Park-based company that sells replicas
of pieces that celebrities wear. It now has 13 stores.
started to increase around the middle of last year, and
they’ve been getting better every single month,"
said its founder, President Mike Shurtleff.
Rich’s average creation runs $60 to $80, Shurtleff
said, although some cost as little as $10.
Day still pales in comparison to Christmas. Though
December generates almost a quarter of the jewelry
industry’s sales, May accounts for only 8 percent.
are trying to squeeze a little more out of the holiday,
definitely seeing an increase in jewelers putting money
into marketing and advertising to get the word
out," said Amanda Gizzi, Jewelers of America
Diamonds will give $100 spa gift cards to customers who
spend at least $400. Shoppers who spend at least $100 on
Charmed Memories products at Kay Jewelers today will get
a bracelet worth $44.
have become particularly popular, Gizzi said.
are very easy for people to give as a gift," she
said. "They’re a low-cost gift when you can just
give one charm."
Ramirez of Orlando sells jewelry through Silpada, a
direct-sales company similar to Tupperware and Mary Kay.
She has sold at least $1,500 worth for Mother’s Day
this year, compared with $500 last year.
sales technique has become easier during the economic
recovery. For a while, Ramirez said, salons were
reluctant to hold lucrative sales parties because they
feared competition for scarce dollars. Now, she said,
they are willing to participate again.
theme jewelers are pushing is that their gifts are
investments. Leavitt of Swalstead said travel agents are
his biggest competitors, but he urges potential
customers to remember that jewelry lasts long after a
vacation glow has faded.
his shop, pieces cost anywhere from $300 to $8,000 — a
"I think the way the economy has been, people
realize families are so important," he said.
"And I think that mother thing is just super, super
strong. You’ve only got one mother, and you’d better
celebrate what you’ve got."