Mother’s Day 2020 was certainly different for most Americans, given the current social distancing measures in place due to the Coronavirus that have shuttered stores and put a damper on family gatherings. It’s traditionally a gift-giving time, and fine jewelry is among the most popular. With the challenges of a pandemic to deal with, how did jewelers fare this year?

“Mother’s Day is usually the second busiest time of year for jewelers just behind the holiday season,” said Amanda Gizzi, spokesperson for Jewelers of America, a trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry retail market. Typically, 9% of jewelry sales take place in May.

With stores closed, retailers quickly had to pivot to online efforts. “E-commerce and virtual appointments reaching them at home replaced the one-on-one customer service models retailers have been accustomed to,” said Gizzi.

For instance, Jack Lewis Jewelers in Illinois hosted interactive Instagram Live interviews. Other jewelry stores held sweepstakes, allowing loyal followers to win a piece of jewelry for mom. Some initiated social media campaigns where clients posted sentimental messages about moms. Others started a curbside pickup service for digital purchases.

Jewelers of America expects final sales numbers to be lower than last year, even though the positive sentiment and emotional connection to jewelry are expected to be up. “It is at uncertain times that we turn to quality and things with meaning. Mother’s Day 2020 was more important than ever for many Americans, and any jewelry received will forever have a remarkable story attached to it,” said Gizzi.

Marissa Collections of Naples, Florida, which boasts an eclectic and fashion-forward fine jewelry department, was able to open up on May 4th for private sales appointments. They maintained a steady business throughout the week, including a frantic last-minute shopper spouse who showed up just before closing time the night before Mother’s Day. According to CEO Jay Hartington, the client “quickly and decisively” chose a necklace from Verdura for his wife.

“We didn’t have as many bigger sales as we are accustomed to but made up for it in volume,” noted Hartington, who said its online sales were up 300% in April, which helped compensate for a 70% decline in store sales. Everyday pieces, especially those that were stackable from designers such as Dana Rebecca, Foundrae, WWAKE, and Irene Neuwirth, performed well. “We also really focused on our #spoilmom digital campaign, and the ‘Have A Heart X Muse‘ charity offerings.”

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