IBM forecast: Jewelry sales to shine this year

New York -- Jewelry sales are expected to grow more than 11% in the second quarter and 9% overall this year, according to a new IBM Big Data-based forecast.

According to the analysis, improved consumer confidence, lower unemployment and enhanced stock dividends from fourth quarter 2012 have combined to leave people ready to start spending on luxury items again, like jewelry.

In addition, key retailers are buttressing the economic landscape and driving sales by leveraging Big Data analytics to better understand and respond to customers and trends. Sterling Jewelers, for example, which owns the popular Jared and Kay brands, overhauled its digital channels to better respond to changing consumer preferences. The move led to an increase in online sales of 49% this past holiday season, according to the IBM report.

In addition to the projected spike in jewelry sales, the latest forecast also predicts a boost to in-store consumer electronics sales, which are projected to grow 2.33% in the second quarter and 1.58% overall for 2013, after five years of decline. Children’s clothing is projected to increase 5.67% in the quarter.

Sterling commissioned IBM for research that included a customer segmentation analysis, voice of the customer surveys, and in-store observations. With deeper insights into customer needs and distinct shopping scenarios – as well as the capabilities required to support them online – they were able to extend the Kay and Jared in-store shopping experience online and into the mobile channel.


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