U.S. retail jewelry sales seemed to have stabilized at a run-rate of nearly 85 percent or so compared with last year’s grades. It is not at all near the 70 percent decline (30 percent run-rate) of the peak-to-valley which happened during the Recession in the early 1930s. But, wholesalers, suppliers and miners which are present in the distribution channel have reported much extreme sales declines because of retailers who have not assigned re-orders for material. At the mining (rough diamond) level, some estimations suggest that sales were declined by as much as 80-90 percent in the first quarter.
Inspite of instability in consumer demand for jewelry in the first quarter, the indication represent an improving environment. For instance, Sterling Jewelers, that operates Kay, Jared, and few other regional brands, said that in first fiscal quarter (February, March, April) same-store sales were reduced only by 2.6 percent. Sales were very less in its upscale Jared stores.
When opposite end of the pipeline is considered, some diamond mining processes have reopened, and the Diamond Trading Company’s most recent diamond Sight expected nearly $250 million and was about two-and-a-half times the capacity of the two Sights held earlier in 2008. But, it was only about one-third as big as diamond Sights during the first half of 2008.
On a global basis, the indications also suggested that the recession has not only rested, but may have started its recovery phase. OECD data reveals that few of the Asian and European economies seem to have stabilized. National data for the U.S. recommends that the bottom of the recession may have happened late in 2008.