Specialist shops outperform all other retailers in January report.
Specialist stores including jewellery and watch shops have outperformed the rest of the UK retail sector in a broadly gloomy report on sales in January.
Office of National Statistics (ONS) for January found a small increase of 2.6 percent for the year to January compared to the same 12 months up to January 2009, and a fall of 1.8 percent from December for the entire retail sector including food, fuel, clothing, household goods and specialist goods.
In contrast, the specialist sector, which includes watches and jewellery along with sports goods, toys and flowers , was up 17.4 percent compared to January 2009.
Figures for jewellery and watch sales are not broken out from the category of other specialised stores, but the growth figure of the broader sector was greater than any other part of the high street.
In contrast, sales of alcohol and other drinks and tobacco were down 12.5 percent, household goods were down 8.4 percent and textiles, clothing and footwear sales were up only 3.5 percent.
Prices in specialist stores appear to have contributed to the relatively strong performance. Prices rose by 1.5 percent compared to January 2009, the second month in a row that year-on-year prices have risen following over five years of falling prices.
Textile, clothing and footwear stores saw prices fall 3.5 percent in January compared to 12 months ago.
The figures support a general air of optimism felt at The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair in early February.
Ben Roberts, managing director, Clogau Gold said he had been doing the show for three years but this year’s was the company’s busiest ever.
Lisa Chambers, director, Lisa Chambers Jewellers, said there was a “positive attitude” at the show.
Dianne Hall, creative director, Dower and Hall, said “the atmosphere was very upbeat”.