This summer, French luxury house Balmain will debut their first fine jewelry collection of gender-neutral and socially conscious pieces. The company shared they would use ethically sourced 18-karat gold, “conflict-free minerals”, and traceable gemstones.
Industry analyst Edahn Golan takes an in-depth look at US jewelry sales trends and sees a lot of indications it is going to be a terrific holiday season.
Reprinted courtesy www.edahngolan.com.
After a roller coaster 2020, 2021 continued the upswing in jewelry sales to a degree few if any expected. Sales in October rose 37%, and we expect holiday jewelry sales to top that and close a fantastic year for the industry.
After cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization of Baselworld announced they are once again canceling the 2022 edition. The current surge in COVID cases across the globe and the associated uncertainty among customers are making the launch of the new concept - announced in June - very difficult, commented MCH in a statement. Feedback from the Geneva Watch Days and discussions with exhibitors also led to this decision.
De Beers announced a new global campaign centered on the iconic words of commitment ‘I do’. Via this campaign, they focus on diverse types of commitment and expand the words’ meaning to stand for personal pledges of all kinds: to love, friendship, family, society, nature and more, marking a new chapter in the company's 133-year history.
Tiffany & C° is on a roll adding yet another hip face to the list of brand ambassadors. Barely 18 years old, British Emma Raducanu conquered all hearts winning the US Open Grand Slam in New York two weeks ago and was instantly propelled into stardom.
According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, US jewelers can expect a very good holiday shopping season as they predict revenue from jewelry sales in the US between November 1 and December 24 will grow 59% compared to the same period last year. When they take the “75 days of Christmas” into account – from October 11 to December 24 – jewelry sales will climb 60% in comparison to 2020, they anticipate.
US retailer Signet Jewelers reported its May, June & July sales more than doubled to $1.79 billion compared to the same period last year, says Rapaport. The company outperformed expectations in this second fiscal quarter, concluding their strategic changes more than paid off.
According to a survey, conducted by the Plumb Club, self-purchase is the most important jewelry purchase motivation amongst college-educated Americans between 25-60, reported InStoreMag. The survey provided vital information on the preferences and motivations of today’s jewelry buyers.
A few of the most important findings:
Swiss luxury group Richemont, owner of the Buccellati, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry brands, recorded a 129% increase in sales in the three months ending on June 30. The outstanding performance was led by the Jewellery Maisons and Specialist Watchmakers, with a growth of 142%, to €2.52 billion (US$2.97 billion) and 143%, to €849 million (US$1 billion), respectively.
On the occasion of the launch of their latest Progress Report, Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) released its ‘Create Beautiful’ video, to showcase and encourage sustainability action throughout the supply chain. The video features CEOs from some of the leading names in the jewellery and watch industry, as well as special interest groups.
A selection of De Beers signature high jewelry designs dazzle in the Disney film “Cruella". The film starring Emma Stone as young Cruella, an aspiring fashion designer, and Emma Thompson as Baroness Von Hellman, the villainous owner of a renowned but tired fashion label, is set against the backdrop of 1970s London. The new take on the Disney classic 101 Dalmatians follows the rebellious early days of one of cinema's most notoriously fashionable villains.
After jewelry sales in the US doubled in March, they almost tripled in April according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Compared to a year ago, jewelry sales increased 255%, benefiting from a strong base comparison as US stores were forced to close in April 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumers are anticipating a return to gatherings and events and government stimulus payments, warmer weather and a broader reopening also foster spending.
LVMH announced the launch of the Gemstones and Jewelry Community Platform, a joint venture inspired by the luxury group’s sustainability commitments. The Coloured Gemstones Working Group (CGWG), created to introduce positive change across the jewelry industry, has actively promoted responsible sourcing of raw materials for many years.
Tiffany & Co., the iconic New York Jeweler, will launch its first-ever engagement ring collection for men. Since 1886, when Charles Lewis Tiffany introduced the solitaire Tiffany Setting, the simple six-prong design became an industry standard. While its wedding rings cater to both men and women, Tiffany has never designed an engagement ring specifically with men in mind—till today.
US Jewelry Sales are back on track since COVID-19 hit retail markets a year ago. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, jewelry sales in the US increased 106% year on year in March. These figures are a result of government stimulus payments and a broader reopening across the country but also benefit from a strong base comparison with March 2020, when people first started social distancing which resulted in a dip in spending. However, in comparison with March 2019, jewelry sales rose by 30% which reflects a release of pent-up demand.
Three years ago Signet Jewelers, the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry, launched “Path to Brilliance,” the official name of its business growth strategy. By acquiring Rocksbox, the subscription-based jewelry rental platform, Signet can expand the retail group’s services, reach a younger demographic, and offer customers new ways to enjoy jewelry without the pain of buying it.
HRD Antwerp launched the first report for traditional and authentic Polki diamond jewellery: 'Authenticity Jewellery Report – Your Blueprint of Assurance'.
The unique Polka jewellery, handcrafted and inspired by fauna, flora and architectural elements, symbolize a critical element of the traditional cultural diamond heritage of India and have gained popularity on the international market. With this report, HRD Antwerp aims to bring additional value to these timeless jewels.
Luxury male accessories are traditionally tie clips, cufflinks and belt buckles, or for those with a more edgy look, gothic rings or rapper-inspired chains. But for China’s growing segment of young, fashion-fluent men, those style conventions are not enough. Although in the West Millennials and Gen Zers associate diamonds with a romantic notion such as a proposal or marriage, Chinese consumers do not. In China the cultural detachment allows more young men to buy diamonds as a fashion statement instead.
Consumers don’t like feeling rushed when making luxury purchases, and brands like Breitling have found a suitable solution. #BreitlingSelect allows subscribers to try up to three Breitling watches in a year from a dedicated portfolio of timepieces. Part of the offer is that the subscribers will then be able to purchase one of the three watches at a special price.
Following a nearly two-year-long legal battle, the UK courts have ruled that Nirav Modi, 49, who allegedly defrauded Indian state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) of $2 billion, will be extradited to India.
Earlier today a UK judge ruled that Modi can be extradited to India, dismissing arguments such as his mental health worsening during the pandemic and the conditions of an Indian prison. "I am satisfied that Nirav Modi's extradition to India is in compliance per human rights," District Judge Samuel Goozee said.
The New York Times writes about how luxury brands who are not typically identified with the high jewelry category are drawn to big and exclusive diamonds, as a path to be part of what is considered a growth segment. LVMH's Louis Vuitton, partnering with high-end miner Lucara and Belgium-based manufacturer HB Antwerp, the newspaper reports, aims to continue its legacy of creating bespoke pieces, with the 1,758ct enigmatic Sewelô, and the 549ct clear white Sethunya.
2020 proved to be quite a challenge with regards to hosting in-person trade fairs, and although online alternatives accelerated the digital revolution within the industry, there is no doubt that in-person viewing and buying is still very much the norm.
According to data from Edge Pulse, The Edge Retail Academy's aggregated jewelry sales data platform, US independent jewelers' uptick in sales in June is continued and even amplified in July, with a 10% increase in gross sales. Remarkably, diamonds are driving the improved sales trend, with a 16% increase in gross sales and 19% in the amount of units sold in July.
It was a matter of time before someone would do it, and diamond-studded face masks are the latest craze in India, Times of India reports. One jeweler came up with the idea when he had to create jewelry for a wedding and created the sparkling face masks for both bride and groom.
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.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre continues its AWDC Webinar Series this week Friday, April 24 from 12:30-14:00 with a presentation on the "Polished Market: a Q&A with Edahn Golan."
In this webinar, AWDC is having a chat with industry expert Edahn Golan on the current state of the market, what we have learned from previous crises concerning how to manage our business when we are in the midst of one, and advice on how to prepare to reboot your company after COVID-19 has subsided. Mr. Golan will be discussing questions such as
“We assumed that it would take two to three months to recover, I think in three or four months, we will be back to normal. The present data is better than we expected.”
Kent Wong - managing director of Chow Tai Fook elaborates in an interview with JCK News Director Rob Bates on how China's largest jeweler re-emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, providing valuable lessons for the rest of the world on consumer trends and how companies can manage during and after the pandemic subsides.
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"
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 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:
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.
Coming off a strong holiday season, Americans are expected to set another record for Valentine’s Day spending this year as they continue to widen the range of those they’re buying for, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Shoppers plan to spend $5.8 billion on jewelry, which 21 percent of Americans plan to give to their loved ones, friends and pets.
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.