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Men and women have very different reasons for buying jewellery, says new NAJ report

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BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Shoppers look for Christmas gifts in a high street jewellery store on December 18, 2014 in Bath, England. With less than a week until Christmas, traditional high street retailers already under pressure from online shopping, will be hoping that the retail sales boost generated by Black Friday will continue. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) has revealed UK consumers’ most cited reasons for purchasing jewellery in a new research paper released in partnership with the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) and the Goldsmiths’ Company.

The whitepaper surveyed more than 2,500 consumers and found that women and men have very different motives for buying jewellery.

The NAJ report identifies key themes underpinning purchases, such as “to celebrate or commemorate a relationship”, which is popular for both men (30%) and women (33%), and ‘to express love and/or commitment’, the most popular theme of all for men (31%).

More popular themes for women buying jewellery were ‘a sale or good price’ (43%), ‘on impulse or as a reward or treat’ (31%) and ‘to complete an outfit or create a certain look’ (23%).

The research also identified that jewellery (17%) was behind electronics (50%) and concert or theatre tickets (33%) when it came to the most enjoyable item to buy.

One in ten consumers who had purchased jewellery in the past five years say that they have previously had a negative experience when making a jewellery purchase.

Richard Fox, prime warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company and managing director of Fox Silver, said of the paper:

“This research, while conducted pre-pandemic, is an essential tool for helping the retail jewellery sector get back on its feet and to reflect on the future landscape for their businesses against the backdrop of COVID-19.”

Included in the report is a table of buying sentiments for jewellers to apply to marketing activity, and opinion on how hard or soft each sentiment should be applied depending on the jeweller type. Sentiments include ‘personal meaning’, ‘commemoration’ and ‘investment’.

Adam Jacobs, managing director of Jacobs the Jewellers in Reading and chair of the NAJ consumer focus group which delivered the report, said: “The results have shown specific emotions and messages that appear consistent across whatever sector we operate in. I can see the core sentiments expressed from a designer maker commission, to a bridal engagement ring purchase to a simple valentine’s day purchase.

“Sentiments such as, but not restricted to, expressing personal style, getting best value, collecting, showing love are relevant across the industry, though of course applied differently: a version of the maxim think global, act local.”

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