As of yesterday, May 1, Signet Jewelers' e-tailer James Allen will offer laboratory-created diamonds, becoming the first Signet-owned entity to do so, reports Rob Bates of JCK. "This is a test," says Oded Edelman, president of the James Allen site, which was Signet Jewelers purchased in 2017. "If consumers adopt it, then maybe it’s a sign for the rest of Signet to adopt it as well. We’ll wait and see how it goes.”
This launch comes as little surprise, with Signet’s chief executive officer, Virginia Drosos, stating last year that the business would be open to stocking lab-grown diamond jewelry if consumers demand it. James Allen says they will be offering lab-grown diamonds in high color and high clarity as part of its ethos to always offer the best. Bates reports that while the site will offer the man-made diamonds as an option, it is not branding them in any way or, at this point, doing much to promote them. “If you brand them, that means you are going to spend a significant amount of money on it, and we are not there yet,” he says.
Edelman says he worries he could be cannibalizing natural diamond sales. “It’s always a concern,” says Edelman, who also serves as Signet’s chief digital innovation officer. “We have heard they are a small fraction of the market. We’ll test it, and we’ll see if we can make significant sales. We are not interested in just selling a few diamonds.” The lab-created diamonds will also be offered at the e-tailer’s first brick-and-mortar store, which opened last year in Washington, D.C.