Following new outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus across the globe, the organizers of Watches & Wonders, Richemont backed Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) have decided to cancel the live event, scheduled for beginning of April 2021 and replace it with an all online event.
In a press release, that notably contains not a single mentioning of the mining company De Beers that established the LGD brand, Lightbox today announced the completion and opening of its US-based production unit as well as a deal with jewelry e-tailer Blue Nile, for a dedicated fashion jewelry collection available on the online retailers website as of today. The manufacturing facility in Portland will produce an estimated 200,000ct of "USA made" lab-grown diamonds annually.
In a joint statement, both parties have announced they have lowered the agreed share price down from US$135 to US$131.5, a significant US$400m less than the original merger. JCK's Rob Bates reports about the rumors that Tiffany and LVMH, who got caught up in a legal battle after the latter announced they would back out of the deal to buy the iconic jeweler, might be back in negotiations to conclude the deal after all.
Bloomberg, citing the encouraging jewelry sales results of brands like Signet, Tiffany and Macy's, reports that US shoppers - at least those who can - are spending their money on diamond jewellery, rather than trips or restaurant visits. High-end products have been performing particularly well in the last quarter and those spending are spending more than normal on items, the article states.
Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Signet Jewelers CEO Gina Drosos is rolling out the Path to Brilliance transformation which focuses on dramatically changing the customer experience by bringing it into the digital world, with virtual appointments, Live experts and events and tying into customers' personal social media channels. The transformation process, which had been initiated before the pandemic, also aims to maximize on current trends focusing on value, values and trust consumers place in Signet's brands with an omnichannel approach.
The COVID pandemic, so much is clear, is far from over, and continues to put pressure on the global economy. Sales of personal, aspirational luxury items are taking a hit, but for the super rich, the Financial Times reports, that doesn't necessarily mean they are spending less. The so-called "ultra high net worth individuals" have shifted consumption patterns, from spending on high-end travel and restaurants, to buying real estate closer to home and exclusive items, from paintings over autographed sneakers to exlusive diamonds and jewellery pieces online.
Chinese retailer Luk Fook has announced a 71% drop in sales in the first fiscal quarter, with largest same-store sales declines in Hong Kong and Macau (76%). Of the company's self-operated stores, a large proportion is located in Hong Kong and Macau (60) compared to the amount of shops in Mainland China and other locations (118). Hong Kong, a popular destination for luxury shopping tourists, has been under continued restrictions, such as a compulsory 14-day quarantine, as wel as renewed outbursts of civil unrest.
It was a good week for exceptional fancy colored diamonds, as a 12.11 carat marquise shaped fancy intense blue diamond was bought for 15.9 million US$ at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels auction, exceeding expectations.
A deal that was announced between LVMH and Tiffany & C° earlier this year, in which the France-based luxury conglomerate led by Bernard Arnault would acquire the iconic jeweler for $135 per share, is potentially falling through, as LVMH is reconsidering its engagement amid the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic and unrest in the USA. According to Retail Dive, LVMH’s press release suggests that it is looking to lower the offer, and some sources say that move is based
HRD Antwerp, the Antwerp-based diamond grading lab is reviving the HRD Awards with a 17th edition of the internationally renowned jewellery design competition. Aptly themed "Happiness - A New Beginning", the contest invites designers across the globe to submit their designs via an online module, before May 20th 2020. A panel of international experts will judge all designs and award 11 prizes during an online award ceremony on June 14th.
The value of Hong Kong's total exports of goods during the first quarter of 2020 declined by 9.7% over the same period in 2019, with exports of jewelry ("miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewelry, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)") falling by $10.5 billion or -20.4%, according to the government's Census and Statistics Department. In March alone, year-on-year the jewelry category declined by $3.7 billion or -20.8% compared to a 5.8% decline in the value of total exports of goods decreased from the special administrative region.
Five major watch brands, Rolex, Patek Phiippe, Tudor, Chanel and Chopard today announced they will be leaving BaselWorld. The exit follows a letter by Rolex topman Hubert du Plessix pleading for a refund for the brands set to participate in the canceled 2020 edition. In a joint statement, the brands announced they plan to start a new show, which remains unnamed, scheduled for April 2021, in conjunction with the organizers of Watches & Wonders (FHH).
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) earlier this week announced the new dates for the twin trade fairs in Hong Kong: 3-6 August 2020. The HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show 2020 and the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2020 were previously scheduled to run concurrently from 18 to 21 May, but were postponed following the goverment's announcement of a quarantine for all travellers arriving from outside China.
According to Swiss newspaper “Le Temps” the world’s largest luxury watch and jewelry show, Baselworld, is in danger of becoming extinct. The newspaper cites from a leaked letter from angry exhibitors, who are threatening to turn their backs on the fair for good, if they aren’t reimbursed fully for costs already made for this year’s – canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic – edition. According to the article, the exhibitors were offered a financial agreement which they believe is inadequate and they demand a full refund.
HRD Antwerp, the Antwerp based diamond grading lab and education provider, has successfully concluded its first jewelry design e-course in China. The company already offered online jewelry sales courses in its online education program.
Using CCTalk, Dingtalk and iPad as platforms, students were able to complete the 11-day Online Jewelry Design course comprising of 2,5 hours of virtual class per day, presented in Chinese by guest teacher Ms Wei.
The lockdowns and social distancing measures introduced in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus has forced many if not most businesses to close and educational courses to be delayed. This has spurred industry organizations and associations to take action and set up initiatives to help people through the crisis. As of today, De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds is offering their Diamond Foundation Course for free (normally $250) to the diamond industry.
U.S.-based Signet Jewelers, 'the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry', has temporarily closed all of its stores in North America effective March 23, 2020 in response to the continued spread and impact of COVID-19. The company has also declined to issue a guidance for Q1 or for the full year of Fiscal 2021, instead opting to provide an update on first quarter sales trends to date.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) yesterday, 23 March 2020 announced the suspension of preparations for its upcoming trade shows following the goverment's announcement of a quarantine for all travellers arriving from outside China. It cannot host an international show under these conditions.
The Copenhqgen-based cotume jewelry giant Pandora has announced the temporary closure of all of its owned & operated stores in the U.S., Italy, Germany, France and Spain, and in most other European markets in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. They have additionally temporarily closed many of our stores around the world, along with most of their offices. Office staff is working from home. Pandora employs 28,000 people worldwide.
Diamond jewelry retail sales in the US soared 20% after 9/11. History shows us that after large-scale disasters and economic meltdowns, there is a tendency to spend on diamond jewelry. History has shown us that it will get better after it gets worse.
- Edahn Golan, from his article, "Ruin to Resurrection, the Perpetual Path"
The 2020 edition of JCK Las Vegas, the leading jewelry event in North America, as well as sister show Luxury will be postponed until later in the year due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, according to a statement by the show organizers. Reed Exhibitions and the Reed Jewelry Group say they expect to announce a new date "shortly". JCK Las Vegas was scheduled to run June 2–5, with sister show Luxury starting on May 31 and running through June 5.
Reed released the following statement:
Hong Kong's leading diamond jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook unexpected released key unaudited data for the two months ended 29 February 2020, revealing that sales at all points of sale in Mainland China fell 42 percent while those in Hong Kong and Macau fell 60 percent in the first two months of 2020. The jeweler attributes the decline to the temporary shutdown of "the majority" of its stores in China and Hong Kong due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Retail sales across all products in Hong Kong took a major downturn in January 2020, falling by more than 21% and marking the12th consecutive month of falling sales. Earnings in the category jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts were hit the hardest, falling 42% year-on-year to US$632 million (HK$4.92 billion).
The 2020 JCK Las Vegas and Luxury shows will take place as scheduled, the show organizers confirmed, though they will be monitoring the situation. Last week, precautionary considerations due to the outbreak of the coronavirus led to the cancellation of two European fairs, Baselworld and Watches & Wonder Geneva (formerly SIHH).
The Royal Asscher Diamond Company’s president, Edward Asscher, has retired on his 50th anniversary with the company. "You have to able to let things go in life," he said. "There comes a time when you should no longer stand in the way of continuity. The next generation has to determine the further course on their own." Edward Asscher said he is delighted that his daughter, Lita Asscher and son, Mike Asscher, will be taking over the company as co-presidents. Lita (42) is responsible for America, while Mike (39) will take care of business in Asia and Europe.
Following yesterday's announcement of the cancellation of the Geneva 'Watches & Wonders', Baselworld has followed suit, postponing the luxury event until January 2021 on account of the coronavirus. The organization has published the following announcement:
The Watches & Wonders watch fair in Geneva - known until last year as the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) - will not take place this year given the spreading coronavirus outbreak. The organizers posted the following message on their website:
Following the temporary closure of their stores in 'affected regions' of mainland China, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group has temporarily closed around 40 stores in Hong Kong and Macao in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19 or nCoV2019 (2019 novel coronavirus)) epidemic, a spokesperson said Monday. The Hong Kong-based jewelry chain operator also will shorten operating hours at its remaining stores in the two cities. These shops will close by 7 p.m. local time until further notice.
Concern about the impact of the coronavirus on the diamond and jewelry trade is growing, not only in China, but also in the markets that supply China, like Hong Kong and India. Events have been concelled, retail sales have plummeted and the outbreak of the virus in China has already had a ripple effect on diamond supply chains as the death toll passes 1,000. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Tiffany & Co. shareholders voted in favor of the jeweler’s acquisition by LVMH during a meeting held on February 4 at its Fifth Avenue headquarters, the companies announced in separate press releases. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods company, announced on November 25, 2019 that it had reached an agreement to buy the jeweler Tiffany & Company in a $16.2 billion deal, the largest ever in the luxury sector. According to the agreement, LVMH will acquire Tiffany, the global luxury jeweler, for $135 per share in cash.
Hong Kong's retail sales of jewelry and luxury items limped to the end an abysmal 2019, with December 2019 sales falling nearly 37% short of December 2018 earnings, as the region closed the year more than 22% lower than the year prior. The impact of months of social unrest has been widely documented, as it crippled consumer sentiment and kept tourists away from the commercial hub.
Swiss luxury jeweler de Grisogono, whose long-alleged history of shady deals with Angola was recently exposed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 36 media partners, has filed for bankruptcy in Geneva, according to multiple news outlets. The jeweler is owned in part by the husband of Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of former president José Eduardo dos Santos, who is facing allegations of having pilfered Angolan state-owned companies. The company owes more than 1.4 million francs to its Swiss suppliers and is facing insolvency.
The United Kingdom has become one of a handful of nations to take proactive steps to protect diamond jewelry buyers from confusing sales labeling, thanks to a collaboration between the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) and UK Trading Standards. The NAJ has announced a guide for correctly labeling different diamond jewelry types accepted by Trading Standards to stop customers feeling duped.
Swarovski, the famous producer of precision-cut crystals, this week launched a new collection of lab-grown diamonds in 16 colors at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, a clear challenge to De Beers' Lightbox brand of synthetic gemstones. The company in 2016 launched its Diama collections in the US, using synthetic diamonds, and entered the lab-grown market as producers in 2018 with its Swarovski Created Diamonds.
Richemont Group's sales in Q3 (the three month period ended 31 December 2019) increased by 4%, with growth in all regions except Japan, the luxury goods group announced last week. The Jewellery Maisons division recorded a 6% increase year-over-year at constant exchange rates versus the prior period and 9% at actual exchange rates. Sales in Europe during the period grew by 9% to €1.26 billion ($1.40 billion) benefiting from favourable comparative numbers and strong sales in most markets. European sales for the nine months of the fiscal year have risen 8% to €3.5 billion ($3.9).
Jewelry sales during the U.S. holiday season showed a modest increased compared to 2018, with higher-end independent jewelers performing particularly well, according to several surveys. Online buying surged, while foot traffic in retail stores slowed. The Mastercard SpendingPulse report shows that the jewelry sector experienced 1.8 percent growth in total retail sales, with online sales growing 8.8 percent – supporting eCommerce strength.
Chow Tai Fook, Hong Kong's leading diamond-jewelry retailer and the second largest jeweler in the world by market value after Tiffany & Co., intends to about 15 of its 86 stores in Hong Kong as anti-China protests in the city weigh on the retail market and deter tourists, according to multiple media outlets. Indications that it rather intends to focus on growing its presence in the mainland China market suggests the slump in retail sales is not about the reverse soon.
The Titan Company announced in its Q3 FY ’20 update that jewelry sales in December were were better than expected despite “the general economic slowdown in the economy leading to poor consumer sentimenthit." The company said its revenue growth was "possibly due to a good wedding season" and that the jewelry industry as a whole witnessed “reasonable growth” in the festive Diwali season this year. The company itself did better, the statement reads, while also gaining market share.
Retail sales in Hong Kong in general, and sales of luxury items and jewelry in particular, continued to fall sharply in November as local social unrest turned extremely violent, causing very severe disruptions to tourism- and consumption-related activities and further dampening consumption sentiment, writes the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Tiffany & Co. announced on Thursday Dec. 26 that its overall global sales during the holiday shopping season (from November 1 through Christmas Eve) rose about 1% to 3% compared with the same period last year, with the largest contribution coming from China, Europe and a recovery in the Americas. Mainland China drove the business during the holiday period, with Tiffany seeing a double-digit sales increase there, offset by declines in Hong Kong.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from De Beers Group, today announced it will launch in five jewelry stores in Belgium through a partnership with Gautam Diamonds. Forevermark jewelry will be available in Gautam stores in the historic Grand Place/Grote Markt and Galerie de la Reine/Koninginnegalerij in the city, as well as in three Antwerp Diamonds by Gautam stores in Brussels Airport.
Luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co fell short of investor expectations for profit and sales during the third quarter ended Oct. 31 2019, as weak demand in the U.S. and retail disruption in Hong Kong offset growth elsewhere in China. Tiffany's business in the Americas and Europe has struggled to generate growth in recent years as price-conscious younger customers gravitate to lower-priced competitors like Signet Jewelers - which last week released “better-than-expected” results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020.
Barely a week after Jeweller Magazine reported Michael Hill (MHI), the jewelry retailer operating 312 stores in Australia, New Zealand, Canada as well as selling jewelry online, made misleading claims in its marketing by describing their lab-grown diamonds using terms as “real”, “genuine” and “authentic”, the company has changed its messaging.
According to several reports, LVMH's raised offer of 16.7 billion US dollar - from the 14.5 billion offered and declined earlier - might be convincing enough to persuade TIffany's and the deal could be concluded fast, insiders say. If so, Tiffany's would be joining LVMH's portfolio, which includes Bvlgari, Louis Vuitton and Dior and put the luxury conglomerate in a more interesting position to compete with rivals, such as the Swiss-based Richemont.
A significant decline in Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong in October put a dent in the otherwise positive month, as several of the leading markets recorded strong growth. According to figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Swiss watch exports passed the 2 billion francs (CHF2.03 billion/USD$2.04 billion) representing 1.5% growth compared to the same month last year.
Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale taking place tomorrow (Nov. 12) features a stunning collection of colored and colorless diamonds, led by a 7.03-carat, Fancy deep blue rectangular-cut diamond by London high jewelry house, Moussaieff. The VVS2 blue stone carries an estimate of $10,000,000 - $14,000,000.
Tiffany & Co. has asked luxury conglomerate LVMH to raise its $14.5 billion acquisition offer, arguing that it significantly undervalues the U.S. jewelry chain, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources. Last week, it became known that LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is seeking to add the iconic U.S. jeweler to its portfolio of upscale brands.
The 4th International Jewelry & Diamond Conference 2019 – Guangzhou, jointly held by the Guangzhou Diamond Exchange and the Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange (GDGJE) will take place on November 21-22. The conference will be held in Panyu, Guangzhou, the major cluster of the diamond and jewelry industry of China, and will welcome industry representatives, associations from around the world and delegates from local governments.
Tiffany & Co. has received a takeover approach from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which is seeking to add the iconic U.S. jeweler to its portfolio of upscale brands. The French company sent Tiffany officials a letter in the past couple of weeks outlining an all-cash takeover bid of about $120 a share, according to people familiar with the matter. That would value Tiffany at close to $14.5 billion, and represents a 22% premium over the stock’s closing price on Friday, according to the Financial Times.
Beginning this month, De Beers' lab-grown diamond brand Lightbox Jewelry will be available at two select Bloomingdale’s department stores (one in N.Y., one in San Francisco) and 30 Reeds Jewelers stores in a trial run to see whether their product and value proposal perform in traditional bricks-and-mortar retail environments, reports Forbes magazine. Until now, the only way to purchase Lightbox fashion jewelry was through its website or through an occasional pop-up promotion.
A 10.64-carat Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond sold for US$19.9 million (155,831,000 HKD) earlier this week at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction. That's $1.9 million per carat.
The 10.65-carat, Internally Flawless Type IIa pink fell between its $19.1 to $25.5 million (150 million to 200 million HKD) pre-sale estimate. It is set between trapeze diamonds, mounted in 18 karat white and pink gold. The Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale totaled $300.8 million HKD, or $38.3 million.
The eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York - Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson - granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and latest newsworthy royal millennial, Princess Beatrice of York, became engaged earlier this month to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Mozzi enlisted contemporary British jewelry designer Shaun Leane to create the princess’ diamond and platinum engagement ring.
Richemont luxury group has acquired 100% of Buccellati Holding Italia S.p.A., the owner of renowned Italian jewelry Maison Buccellati, in a private transaction with Gangtai Group Corporation Ltd, a privately held conglomerate. The price of the acquisition is undisclosed. With the takeover, the luxury conglomerate adds to its brand portfolio that includes Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Montblanc, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Baume & Mercier.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers Group, has launched its latest consumer campaign, #TrustForevermark, in India, aiming to help prospective buyers allay their doubts, fears and questions that arise when buying diamonds, according to a Forevermark press release. Forevermark is rolling out a multi-media campaign including events, PR, digital, print, television, radio, outdoor and social media content. The #TrustForevermark campaign the brand's largest yet in India and will be rolled out nationally over the next three months targeting nine Tier I and 41 Tier II cities.
The Plumb Club - one of the jewelry, diamond and watch industries' leading supplier organizations - today announced that its members have voted to require all new and existing Plumb Club members to become Certified Members of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The Plumb Club, a current RJC association member, is the first organization of its kind to require its members to follow the RJC Code of Practices.
Sales of jewelry at dedicated jewelry stores in the U.S. fell by nearly 5% (-4.6%) to $14.4 billion from $15.1 billion in the first half of 2019, according to figures from the US Census Bureau (see link). In June, the decline was the sharpest of the year, falling 10.5% to $2.31 billion from $2.58 billion in the same month a year ago. This would indicate a downturn in consumer confidence, although provisional figures from July show a 1.3% increase July 2018, at $2.41 billion.
The Women's Jewelry Association (WJA) has appointed a new executive director, Jennifer Markas, who begins work Sept. 10. Bernadette Mack, the outgoing executive director, will work with Markas during her transition until the end of the month.
Rare and exceptional fancy color diamonds, as well as a large flawless emerald diamond will be in the spotlight at this autumn’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction at Sotheby's Hong Kong. The October 7 sale presents three very remarkable stones: a superb 10.64-carat fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond of internally flawless clarity estimated at $19.1 million to $25.5 million, an important 6.01-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, and a magnificent 80.88-carat D-color, flawless diamond.