In response to Walmart selling their $18,000 Diamond Watch on walmart.com, Cartier issued a statement clarifying that Walmart is not authorized to sell its products. Walmart has more than tripled its online offering of products over the past year, and made headlines last week when the Wall Street Journal reported that a third-party vendor, New York-based Jewelry Unlimited, was selling a $18,000 diamond watch by Cartier on walmart.com on Black Friday. Cartier took aim at Walmart on Monday, saying it could not vouch for the authenticity of the watches sold via walmart.com.
In her recent article for Bloomberg, "Happy Couples Don't Buy Diamonds Online the Way They Used To," Polly Mosendz analyzes the changing landscape for diamond engagement rings - and in particular the online sales thereof. She notes firstly the trend for diamond rings to change hands online in way they never did previously, resulting in tremendous growth in the second-hand market.
In a surprise announcement, online jeweler Blue Nile said Monday that it has entered into an agreement to be taken private by an investor group comprised of funds managed by Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street LLC, writes Anthony DeMarco for Forbes. The all-cash deal is valued at $500 million.
Dharmanandan Diamonds (DDPL), a De Beers sightholder company, has become first to launch an online auction platform - the Diamond Carnival - for polished diamonds, writes The Times of India. Available for clients in India and abroad, the new monthly auction platform is accessible through the Internet as well as iOS mobile applications. The first auction in the series on the new platform opened at 12:00 PM on October 17 and will be live for three days, the company said in a release.
The Hong Kong Accredited Diamond Exchange (HKADE), backed by a renowned Hong Kong serial entrepreneur Mr. Shih Wing-Ching, provides the first online peer-to-peer (P2P) global diamond marketplace with its reliable verification service and unique features for investment consideration with the support of non-physical settlement, according to a company press release. "There is a big gap between the retail price and resale price of diamonds," Mr. Shih stated. "This is because information about the diamond market is not always clear.
Chow Tai Fook, the world’s largest publicly traded jewelry chain, is warning that the jewelry market remains challenging even though it expects a decline in sales to ease off in the second half of this year. It also hopes to benefit from easier comparisons in the second half with the same period of 2015. “This year is still a challenge because the volatile global economy is affecting buying sentiment as a whole,” Kent Wong, the managing director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, told Rapaport News.
Online jeweler Blue Nile has opened its fourth Webroom, and plans to open a fifth by Thanksgiving at a yet-unnamed location. Webrooms are display locations that provide a retail setting for consumers to see more than 400 goods available for sale which can then be ordered on a PC, by smartphone or via a tablet. Sales can also be made online via in-store tablets and with the help of non-commissioned consultants. The fourth Webroom is in the Washington Square mall in Portland, Oregon, and the first to open on the West Coast, just a few hours south of Blue Nile headquarters in Seattle.
When shopping on the web, there are some limits to how high consumers will go, writes JCK's Rob Bates in a survey of the highest-selling jewelry items bought online. While the industry was once obsessed about whether consumers would buy a $5,000 ring online, the question now is how much higher will they be prepared to go and where is the cyber version of threshold resistance? Looking at various sites, JCK found some extremely expensive items for sale, but it doesn’t seem that many people are buying them.
Jewelry Television (JTV) in the United States reported a 16 percent jump in revenue for the fiscal year which ended in June as the company expanded its customer base. Its customer numbers increased by 12 percent, the company said. During the last three months of that period, the customer count jumped by14 percent while sales surged 15 percent higher, Rapaport reported. Sales over the past two years have risen 37 percent. JTV broadcasts live programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week to 86 million U.S. households and also sells jewelry online.
Online diamond and jewelry retailer Blue Nile reported flat second-quarter sales and lower profits for its fiscal second quarter which ended on July 3 from a year earlier as it was hit by lower average prices for its goods. Net sales were $113.8 million compared with $113.7 million for the same quarter last year. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $114.10 million.
Despite all the talk of the millennial generation and younger people being overwhelmingly digitally connected, a new study in the UK emphasizes the ongoing importance of physical stores in driving retail sales. Of the £313 billion ($410 billion) spent by UK consumers in 2015, £278 billion (89%) “touched” a store through physical sales, click & collect and online sales browsed in store, according to research firm Verdict Retail and British Land.
Luk Fook Holdings reported that the slump in sales continued in its first fiscal quarter due to a slowdown in Mainland China and low sales in Hong Kong and Macau. The firm last month reported that sales and profit tumbled for the fiscal year ended March 31.
Online diamond and jewelry retailer Blue Nile has opened the second of its 'Webrooms' at the Westchester Mall in White Plains, New York. It opened its first Webroom in June 2015 at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York. Webrooms are display locations that provide a retail experience for consumers to see more than 400 goods available for sale which can then be ordered on a PC, by smartphone or via a tablet. Sales can also be made online via in-store tablets and with the help of non-commissioned consultants.
Online diamond jewelry seller Blue Nile announced earlier this month that it would temporarily no longer ship to South Dakota in response to a new state law that says remote sellers must collect sales tax from local residents, even if, and this where the law differs from similar state laws, they have no physical presence in the state (known as nexus). The rule applies only to companies that sell more than $100,000 or process more than 200 in-state transactions a year.
Berkshire Hathaway’s Richline Group, a major supplier of jewelry to retailers in the United States, has bought online jewelry firm Gemvara Inc. which has struggled to find a strong business model despite the investment of $60 million in the firm since it was established in 2006. Richline, which did not reveal the acquisition price, plans to hire more workers at Gemvara as it attempts to grow its footprint in the online sector, spokesman Mark Hanna told The Boston Globe.
China's largest jewelry retail chain, Chow Tai Fook, is spreading its wings further afield and is aiming to expand more broadly into retail in a bid to capture some of the business of Chinese retail giant Alibaba and other Internet retailers. It invested $54 million in shopping platform CTFHOKO.com in December and a mall to showcase products sold online, offering genuine imports such as infant formula, diapers and cosmetics at prices at least 10 percent cheaper than shops in mainland China and is aimed at consumers wary of counterfeit goods online, according to a Bloomberg report.
Online diamond and jewelry retailer Blue Nile is to open its third 'Webroom' at the Tysons Corner Center mall near Washington D.C. The firm said the Webroom is expected to be opened by mid-summer. Webrooms are display locations that provide a retail experience for consumers to see goods available for sale which can then be ordered on a PC, by smartphone or via a tablet. Sales can also be made online via in-store tablets and with the help of non-commissioned consultants.
The percentage split of total UK online sales in the fourth quarter was 49% for desktops/laptops, 33% for tablets and 18% for smartphones. Meanwhile, visits to retail websites via mobile devices accounted for 66% of traffic in the fourth quarter, compared with 53% in the fourth quarter last year, Professional Jeweller magazine reported. While sales growth using smartphones increased sharply in 2015, growth via tablets reached a record low in December 2015, according to data from IMRG and consultancy firm Capgemini.
Shares of Blue Nile, the online diamond and jewelry retailer, are down more than 20 percent in Thursday morning trading after the company posted “disappointing” Q4 results, according to CEO and President Harvey Kanter. Blue Nile's sales tumbled nearly 5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter. This was particularly disappointing given that the fourth quarter represents the company’s important period of holiday jewelry sales.
Online jewelry retailer Blue Nile announced that its sales fell 4.8% to $150.0 million for the fourth quarter ended January 3. Q4 engagement net sales in the U.S. declined 7.7% to $78.4 million, while U.S. Q4 non-engagement net sales fell 0.3% to $48.7 million. "While sales were disappointing, we delivered an eight year high in EPS.
CNBC reports that the National Retail Federation (NRF) said holiday sales increased 3% to $626.1 billion in November and December, falling short of the trade group's forecast for 3.7% growth, as unseasonably warm weather and low prices weighed on results. The news came shortly after the Commerce Department said retail sales posted an unexpected drop in December, falling 0.1% from the previous month. Compared with the prior year, December sales rose 2.2%, to $448.1 billion, according to the government data.
With the Chinese New Year season approaching, the outlook for sales is not very hopeful, writes Avi Krawitz, citing volatility on the Shanghai stock exchange, the government's devaluation of the yuan, economic growth slowing, major retailers such as Chow Tai Fook and Luk Fook publishing sharply lower Q3 sales and profits in recent weeks and falling manufacturing output showing that global demand for Chinese products is declining. Chinese jewelers overbought in 2014 and are still holding enough inventory for the Chinese New Year which begins on February 8.
Mobile sales in the United States jumped 59% on the year to $12.65 billion in the November-December holiday sales season, accounting for 18% of overall digital commerce compared with 13% a year before, said retail industry monitoring firm comScore. The rise was in line with the research firm's forecast that mobile commerce revenues would increase by 50-60-percent. Overall digital spending is forecast to have increased by 13% to $69.1 billion, with desktop computer sales up 6 percent to $56.4 billion, the firm said in a statement.
JCK reports that Brilliant Earth, an online jewelry retailer dedicated to socially and environmentally responsible sourcing as tool for promoting social change in developing countries, is opening its third showroom, in Boston, as well as airing its first TV commercial featuring homemade videos of engagement proposals with Brilliant Earth jewelry. The new showroom adds an East Coast base to its two California showrooms in Los Angeles and San Francisco,
Louis Pearl, rough diamond consultant and gemologist, takes a hard look at eroding profit margins throughout the diamond pipeline from a historical perspective and - for a change - does not place all the blame on the major miners.
Tiffany & Co. has reclaimed its position this year as the leader of an index published by business intelligence firm L2 Inc, maintaining a 14-point lead over runner-up Cartier "based partly on its unparalleled SEO performance on competitive category keywords like 'engagement ring.' The brand also distinguished itself on social media with campaigns like 'Will You?' and 'Concierge of Love' – an interactive Valentine’s Day campaign pairing social media programming with an interactive gift guide on the brand site.
There will be around $70 billion of online sales in the November-December holiday season, up 14% from last year, but the big rise will be seen in sales from mobile devices which are likely to soar 50% on the year while sales made from desktop computers will increase by just 9%, said Gian Fulgoni, chairman and co-founder of comScore in an interview. He added that there was a clear shift to online from in-store sales, and within that move mobile sales are leading the way.
Canadian auction firm Ritchies excluded local buyers as it targeted collectors overseas with an online sale of more than $20 million of colored diamonds. Several of the diamonds were from the Argyle mine in Australia which is known for its pink and other rare colored stones. Managing Director Kashif Khan commented, “We have seen a major shift occur quite quickly as the weak price of oil and the weak Canadian dollar have turned Canadian collectors into sellers.
Belgian online diamond jewelry company Baunat has raised $3.5 million (EUR 3.3 million) in fresh capital from investors and staff through a private placement. It also rejected a takeover bid by an Asian investor, according to a statement.
Israel-based Tweezar is a startup company that is trying to disrupt the global diamond trade by means of a new diamond imaging device. The device takes a high-definition image of a diamond, and merchants can then use the Tweezar app on their smartphone, which has embedded optical character recognition (OCR) technology, allowing them to scan the diamond’s certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
The upscale jewelry firm's advert has already become the most popular release this year of an online advertisement by any of the major diamond jewelers. The 90-second Ad featuring Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, had been seen 1,735,074 times by December 1, a week after it was posted on the luxury group’s official YouTube page.
With Hong Kong suffering the worst retail downturn in more than a decade, and Chinese tourists deterred from spending by a weaker yuan and the Beijing government's crackdown on corruption and conspicuous spending, jewelry retailer Plukka wants customers to see and feel their products before committing to buying. The start-up aims to go public in Australia on Friday and launched in Hong Kong and New York last month.
Online shoppers outnumbered their brick-and-mortar counterparts during U.S. retailers’ pivotal Black Friday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. More than 103 million people shopped online over the four-day weekend, which started Thursday on Thanksgiving and continued with Black Friday, compared to fewer than 102 million who ventured into traditional stores, the trade group said. The shift online has been a mixed blessing for the retail industry.
Sales for previous months were revised, showing a lower rate of growth for September than previously reported. Jewelry and watch sales increased by 2 percent to $5.26 billion in September, down substantially from an earlier estimated rise of 4.8 percent. Meanwhile, sales for August were revised down slightly to $5.35 million from $5.38 billion.
Analytics company comScore forecasts a 14-percent rise on the year in November-December 2015 holiday season spending with total online retail spending of $70.1 billion. Mobile commerce is predicted to account for $11.7 billion of retail spending, representing 17 percent of total digital commerce and growing at a rate of 47 percent from last season. Meanwhile, spending via desktop computers is expected to reach $58.3 billion, up 9 percent year-over-year. In total, digital commerce is expected to account for about 15 percent of consumers’ discretionary spending.
Rami Baron, president of the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia and CEO of jewelry insurer Q Report, warns about the proliferation of cybercrime in the jewelry industry. "There isn’t anyone I know who hasn’t had some sort of cyber fraud inflicted on them, or at least knows someone close to them who hasn’t suffered a loss," he writes. "The diamond and jewelry industry is easy pickings", adding that, "We all recently saw the GIA get hacked. Is your security better than theirs?
Mel Moss, president of Regal Imports Ltd., discusses his "terrible" buying trip to India, bemoaning the lack of well graded polished diamonds (particularly Canadian) and the "abundance of poorly graded GIA stones selling at discounts." As of early November, quality goods in India were on demand but simply unavailable. Consequently, "any fresh and properly graded diamonds in SI qualities will be priced very high.
JCK reports a WalletHub survey found that jewelry was the most heavily discounted category on Black Friday, as it was last year. The averaged (advertised) discount: 76 percent, up from last year’s 58 percent. Online colossus Amazon announced “up to 70 percent off” diamond jewelry on Black Friday, and retail giant Macy’s was "even offering 30 percent off engagement rings, an item that is not commonly marked down."
Amazon.com said it will offer discounts up to 70 percent on certain diamond jewelry items as part of its pre-Black Friday campaign which begins on November 20, a week before Black Friday, with new deals being added to the site as frequently as every five minutes for eight straight days. Last year, holiday-season sales from Amazon’s e-commerce app doubled in the U.S. This year, a new feature has been added to boost sales. ‘Watch A Deal’ will allow shoppers to pick the discount offer they like most and receive a notification to their mobile device when the sale is live.