Diamond merchants placing bets on wedding engagements surge

Diamond merchants have been crunching the numbers, and their forecast is that wedding bells will soon be ringing again — along with their cash registers.

After a lengthy, post-pandemic lull that followed a year of COVID lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 when singles weren’t meeting each other, reams of industry data are pointing to a resurgence in wedding engagements, according to experts.

Signet — the jewelry giant that owns chains that include Jared, Zales, Kay and Blue Nile — is expecting the ‘I do’s’ to grow by as much as 10% this year.

That’s partly because couples are reaching the 3.25-year milestone that it usually takes to become engaged, according to Signet’s proprietary database which tracks pre-engagement and dating activities.  

Wedding engagements are expected to grow by as much as 10% this year, according to jewelry giant Signet. Getty Images

“People weren’t out meeting each other during lockdown, which created an engagement gap,” Signet spokesperson Katie Spencer said. “But engagements are back and are providing a tailwind to Signet.”

To capitalize on a fresh wave of demand that began to rise late last year, Signet is joining forces with De Beers — the world’s largest diamond producer — for a fall marketing blitz.

In a press release last month, the companies said they expect engagements to surge 25% over the next three years.

On average, 2.8 million couples make plans to tie the knot each year, according to Signet’s data.

Last year, between 2.1 and 2.2 million couples got engaged, the company said.

Bermuda-based Signet is slated to report quarterly earnings on Thursday.

A return to normal would be a shot in the arm to an industry that’s been battered by inflation, bloated inventories and discounting largely due to a seismic shift away from natural diamonds to budget-friendly, lab-grown rocks over the past few years. 

“The jewelry industry has not been able to recapture the outsize growth it had during the pandemic,” said Jim Sanderson, an analyst at Northcoast Research, noting that lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 had sparked binge-buying by cooped-up jewelry enthusiasts.

There was an engagement pause during the pandemic when people were not going out and meeting potential partners, according to Signet. Getty Images

“But it’s not as weak as feared,” added Sanderson, who recently published a survey that found “engagement season is very strong” compared to a year ago.

Engagement ring sales began to pop at the beginning of 2023 for New York City-based Ritani in Midtown Manhattan, with the majority of couples purchasing lab-grown diamonds, according to Ria Papasifakis, Ritani’s head of products.

Ritani’s sales are up 30% compared to a year ago, but the number of rings it has sold is up by 42% as LGD’s pricing continues to decline.

“We are really busy right now because a lot of people get engaged during the summer in advance of destination vacations,” the jeweler added.

Summertime is a popular season for wedding engagements. Getty Images
A NYC jeweler is seeing a 30% increase in engagement ring sales compared to a year ago, but it’s selling 42% more rings as most customers are purchasing inexpensive LGD rings. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Most engagements in the US will be multicultural, led by Hispanic Americans, according to Signet.

In December, Signet chief executive Virginia Drosos noted that couples moving in together — “a late-stage milestone” — was up nine points from a year ago and that Google searches for engagement rings are 10% higher, which was the first increase in two years.

“The percentage of couples moving to the engagement phase has improved by five points, a statistically significant movement over the last 18 months,” Drosos said at the time.

What’s more, nearly 80% of non-married Millennial and Gen Z adults say they want to eventually get engaged and married, which is a “notable improvement” from a 2018 survey, according to Drosos said.

Source link

Diamond merchants placing bets on wedding engagements surge #Diamond #merchants #placing #bets #wedding #engagements #surge

Source link Google News

Source Link: https://nypost.com/2024/06/12/business/diamond-merchants-placing-bets-on-wedding-engagements-surge/

Diamond merchants placing bets on wedding engagements surge:

Diamond merchants have been crunching the numbers, and their forecast is that wedding bel…