Financial stability has been an ongoing issue for many businesses around the world throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but that is not the case for some Hall County jewelry stores.
In fact, both Dimo Fine Jewelry and Gainesville Jewelry in Hall County have seen an increase in jewelry sales this year compared to 2019.
“We hit numbers this year that we haven’t hit since 2008, and we’re in the middle of a pandemic. I mean if that’s not a statement, I don’t know what is,” said Vice President of Gainesville Jewelry, Emily Forrester
Missy Dimo, Manager and Co-Owner of Dimo Fine Jewelry said she has seen similar trends this year.
“Of course, February, March … there was a lockdown, so we closed the store for a month, but after that, to be honest, the sales went up quite a bit. Especially like, after … two or three months after that we probably had … some of the best months in the whole year,” Dimo said.
John Scott, Economics Professor at the University of North Georgia said he was not surprised to hear that local jewelry businesses were seeing these trends, even during a pandemic.
“During the great depression, there was a saying, and after, ‘well the depression wasn’t so bad if you had a job,’ because the unemployment rate was about 25%, but for those people that had jobs, prices were really low, and they did fairly well if they had jobs.”
Dimo said she believes the reason for the increased jewelry sales is because people have not been spending as much money on travel this year.
In fact, for the December holiday travel period, the Transportation Security Administration reports a major downturn in checkpoint travel numbers at United States airports compared to 2019.
The TSA reported just over 950,000 travelers passed through security checkpoints on Dec. 21, 2020. That is 1.5 million passengers less than the same day in 2019 when TSA reported nearly 2.5 million passengers passed through security checkpoints.
Forrester on the other hand said she believes these increased sales are in response to the state of the economy.
“I think it has something to do with politics. I think the economy’s great. I don’t know where the economy is going as of next year, but I think the economy is great,” Forrester said.
While Dimo and Forrester both report an increase in overall jewelry sales this year, Forrester said a lot of sales at Gainesville Jewelry have come in the form of bridal sets and diamond upgrades.
“It’s really been a season of big diamonds selling, bridal sets selling, and it’s not just the little sets,” Forrester said.
Forrester said Gainesville Jewelry expanded their website to give customers more options during the pandemic, and they found that the bridal section of their website was getting the most traffic from online customers.
After seeing this increased interest, Gainesville Jewelry worked to post their selection of rings on their website to give people more flexibility.
Dimo Fine Jewelry does not currently offer a way for the public to shop online, although a plan is in the works, according to Dimo. Dimo said she was initially afraid that their business would decrease without an online storefront, but they have not had this problem.
Overall, while the pandemic has canceled a variety of events this year, Forrester said engagements and weddings are still on the table for many, adding to the sale of jewelry.
“Life still goes on, even through a pandemic, life still goes on. Weddings are still happening, engagements are still happening, milestones are still happening,” Forrester said.