In a nutshell: the Las Vegas shows met the trade’s conservative expectations, foot traffic and diamond trading were slightly slower than previous years, and jewelry sales were resilient, reports Avi Krawitz. On the plus side, the important U.S. market continues to support the global industry, but there is list of factors making the trade nervous. These include concern among diamond dealers and jewelers about slowing demand for diamond jewelry, the rise of synthetics, how to effectively market to millennials, and the impact that a contentious U.S. presidential election might have on consumer confidence and economic stability. In addition, the industry is also hoping that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates.
In addition, diamond suppliers are expecting to see more companies leaving the industry due to the difficulty of making a profit and intense competition. With diamond suppliers going into jewelry, miners offering branded products, and retailers trying their hands at production, vertical integration is expanding as firms aim to increase margins. And the impact is being felt in the United States where there are fewer jewelers in the market as consolidation continues in retail.
And then there is the now-perennial millennial question of how to market to them. The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) unveiled its campaign slogan on the opening day of the show which left many people "somewhat underwhelmed" by the tagline of 'Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond'. Krawitz suggests that diamond and jewelry companies should seek to promote their own message of uniqueness and individuality in order to bring about added value.