Shoes vs. Jewelry: Which Wins a Woman’s Heart These Days?

Diamonds on the sole of her shoes; but which are really a woman’s best friend? The question may even be impossible for women to answer as their love for both is unparalleled and most likely rivaled by nothing else. Recent sales figures suggest that fashion shoes are giving diamonds a run for their money, but jewelry remains the luxury shopper’s best friend.

Diamonds? Shoes? We'll take both.

UK based designer shoe retailer Kurt Geiger has seen a rise in operating profits by more than 21%, which accumulates to $18.3 billion dollars, in his 63 worldwide stores. {the Guardian} Considering the economic climate it seems like nothing will get between women and their love for shoes.

Kurt Geiger alone sells over 2 million shoes annually with the average price ranging between $285 and $365 per pair. Sales of designer shoes also reached record highs at Harrods and Selfridges, where Jimmy Choo, Prada and Gucci are some of the major brands that are flying off the shelves. Jewelers struggled majorly during the recession, but companies like Tiffany & Co. have shown signs of growth recently. reports that Tiffany’s Laurelton subsidiary recently agreed to a 25% price increase for fancy diamonds, which will probably make it’s way to shoppers this holiday season. Gem Diamonds, a company that operates diamond mines, cutting and polishing facilities reported increased third quarter sales driven by demand in Asia. For consumers worldwide, that will probably be reflected in the price of fine jewelry,  although you can still get amazing deals using vouchers such as Kays discount codes.

It has also been predicted that global luxury sales will grow 10% this year to $237 billion, but it is expected growth will cool next year to 4%-5% due to the weakening dollar. Consumer sales of jewelery in the U.S. market were strong during July of this year. Both specialty jewelers along with retail merchants who sell jewelry posted solid sales gains, in line with newly released data on the U.S. Department of Commerce. {IDEX Online}

Total U.S. jewelery sales rose by 8.2 percent to $4.1 billion in July 2010 above the same month not too long ago. Dependent on prior years’ July results, jewelery sales have recovered towards same level as July 2007 and July 2008, both record months for jewelery sales.

Specialty jewelers’ sales rose by 7.3 percent to $2.1 billion in July 2010, when compared with their sales in July 2009. The luxury sector is rebounding better than expected this year thanks in large part to wealthy Americans replenishing their wardrobes after a year of self-denial and nouveau riche Chinese indulging in a worldwide spending spree, according to a new study by consultancy Bain & Company. {Business Wire} Unfortunately, specialty jewelers’ sales will still be running below record pre-recession levels.

Even though shoe sales are on the increase, jewelry sales are outweighing shoes by a huge margin and it looks like diamonds (and gold, and silver, and pearls…) have cemented themselves as a woman’s number 1 love. The modern preliminary government figures show the U.S. jewelery market is on target to come up with $63.3 billion in sales. This will represent a 2.1 percent gain above the prior record of $62 billion generated in 2008.  In comparison, US women’s footwear sales (including athletic shoes) accounted for a little over $23 billion in sales in 2008. Not too shabby when you consider that the figure represents almost 50% of the $48 billion in total U.S. footwear sales, but still some way to go before overtaking jewelry as the accessory of choice.

One saying is true; diamonds are forever, but buyers are becoming more and more fickle and shoes are on the heels of jewelry for their love.

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