Jewelry Store Windows on 5th Avenue Welcoming Wealth and Prosperity

In my last post I mentioned that the Valentine Displays were a little lite on 5th Avenue. Several jewelry store windows were decorated for the Chinese New Year that started on February 5th. For this post I will look at a few factors of why that is and see if those were good reasons for the stores visual merchandising strategy. The two factors I am focusing on are spending for these holiday’s and the number of stores present in the USA and China.

Valentine’s versus Chinese New Year spending

Valentine’s is a major retail holiday in the us in terms of spending. The National Retail Federation put out some data on Valentine’s spending. Below are some highlights.

Notice the expected percentage celebrating in 2019 dropped to about 51% but total expected spending ($20.7 billion) increased versus last year. So that means spending per person is up. It’s worth noting that when breaking the data down by gender men outspend women on Valentine gifts.

Spending per person for Valentine’s Day is expected to increase 12.8% versus 2018 which comes to a total of $161.96.

Those are good numbers, but they do not come close to Asian countries celebrating the New Year. An article published this week by CNBC did a survey with several Asian countries to see on average how much they were planning to spend for this year. Below is a table summarizing the findings:

As you can see even the lowest average per person spend (Indonesia) is almost 5 times a US Valentine spender’s budget. China’s numbers were not available, but the total spend estimate was. The article is quoted at estimating China’s total spend at ‘just under $140 billion. in retail and catering services over the week-long holiday’. Above the National Retail Federation listed the US Valentine total expected spend at $20.7 billion.

This is no surprise about China’s spending power, they have over a billion people. But will changing the window displays in the US jewelry stores really make that big of an impact? What is the brand presence of these high-end jewelry brands in China?

Number of US stores vs Chinese stores

Walking down 5th Avenue and noting all the new year decorations in many of the jewelry store windows I decided to go online to get a count of the number of stores that these jewelry brands had in the US versus China. Below is the table with my research:

These numbers were found on the respective brands website and only include salons/boutiques not licensed sellers. Hong Kong (HK) is included with mainland China.

All but 2 companies have more Chinese stores than US locations. Tiffany and Harry Winston have more US than Chinese locations. Harry Winston has chosen to celebrate the Chinese New Year and from my previous post Tiffany went with Valentine’s Day.

Brand Strategy

Even though both Tiffany and Harry Winston are American-based brands, Tiffany has a more iconic American brand, so I think it made sense to decorate the stores for an American holiday. Harry Winston is probably hoping like many other stores that their New Year decorations will welcome in the estimated 6.15 million Chinese traveling abroad for the holiday. Tourism abroad is up for China, but the US has felt a decline, a report describing more of that is here. Tiffany is the only publicly traded company on the list so I won’t be able to compare sales results, but I will be interested in seeing Tiffany’s quarterly report for my own curiosity.

Finishing Remarks

The pig in the Chinese Zodiac signifies wealth and prosperity. Hopefully the Jewelry Industry experiences that this year. If you want to restart your new year and revamp your strategy send me an email at: data.inthe.rough@gmail.com . I wish all my readers lots of luck and prosperity in this new year. To end my post, I want to share some of the Chinese New Year displays I have been talking about. Enjoy the pictures below of my NYC window shopping trip last weekend!

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