US Jewelry Trade Continues to Contract

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RAPAPORT… The US jewelry industry continued to downsize in the fourth quarter of 2020, with 91 companies leaving the business, according to data from the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT).

Only one firm went bankrupt, while 21 dropped out due to mergers or takeovers, the JBT reported last week. A further 69 closed for other reasons.

The number of exits plunged 71% compared with the same period of 2019. However, the total size of the industry fell 2.2% year on year to 24,233, with only 40 businesses joining the trade during the period. The retail sector, the largest portion of industry, shrank 2.2% to 18,369 companies. The number of wholesalers declined 2.1% to 3,486, while manufacturers decreased 2.5% to 2,378 firms.

The organization, which provides credit information for the trade, downgraded the credit score of 1,373 companies across the US and Canada during the quarter, up from 1,066 during the same time in 2019. However, it also raised the scores of 1,182 businesses, versus 1,073 in the October-to-December period the previous year. The number of collection claims placed with the JBT fell 38% year on year to 103, but the average claim amount more than doubled to $12,432, from $5,128 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

In 2020, the number of US companies leaving the industry fell 34% to 605. Some 152 new businesses opened — a 34% decline.

Image: A jewelry store display. (Shutterstock)

Source: diamonds.net Rapaport

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