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Walmart’s fine jewelry counter, once hidden at the back of stores, is now being positioned as prime real estate at the front of some newly opened units.  Retail industry analysts believe that this decision may be an indication of a strategy to take advantage of national demographic trends, shopping habits during the economic downturn, and the exit of key competitors in the jewelry category.

Demographic trends and shopping patterns

Younger customers in the age group 25-34, spanning GenX and GenY, have grown up as Walmart customers and, since many are dual-income families with no children, tend to have discretionary income. This segment of the population has been identified as increasing spending on jewelry.

Buying fine jewelry in big box stores has appeal to all income groups as a sort of caché of thriftiness, at a time when saving money is in style.  Walmart’s motto “Save money. Live better” seems to make sense to more and more consumers now that frugality has become a necessity for many.

The jewelry retailing industry

Walmart is the nation’s top jewelry merchant in a $2.9 billion market. The company’s new emphasis on the jewelry department could help cannibalize sales at competitors such as Kay Jewelers, Zales, and some independents in areas where location and price points are a factor.

The bankruptcy and liquidation of some rivals such as Friedman’s, a chain that once located stores near Walmart locations trying to capitalize on Walmart’s reputation for sales staff lack of knowledge, is an indication of the potential of fine jewelry as a growth category for Walmart.

Gabriel Logan’s custom-designed jewelry counters at Walmart

Gabriel Logan’s reputation as a low-cost fixture manufacturer, offering consistent delivery of products on time, every time in mass volume program rollout programs, has resulted in our long-standing relationship with Walmart stores.

Walmart has scaled down their fixture packages in recent years, making them smaller, yet more effective through better design elements.  Gabriel Logan has been instrumental in the redevelopment of the incremental jewelry showcase line exclusive to Walmart.

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