Latest data from Mastercard SpendingPulse has revealed that jewelry comparable sales rose an astonishing 78% during this year’s Thanksgiving weekend. Considerable amount of these sales are most likely to be accounted for purchases at local family stores. According to the newest survey by American Express, around 80% of consumers are shopping at small businesses this holiday season, with better experience and a wider variety of options stated as the key factors. It seems like having a bigger selection of man-made diamonds can give a boost to the jewelry chains, and Signet’s executives probably agree with it.
Jewelry giant released the results for the third quarter that show the increase of their sales in the U.S. and Canada at 18.9% compared to the last year. This year, Signet’s retailers focused more on the “accessible jewelry” category, which may have been one of the reasons for such a success. In a conference call following the report, CEO Gina Drosos felt optimistic about the upcoming wedding boom and revealed the company’s plans for the near future. Not only will Signet continue to target the broader customer base with more affordable pieces, it will increase the selection of lab-grown diamonds both online and at its brick-and-mortar locations.
Signet has been offering lab-created diamond jewelry through James Allen for a few years. Clearly, the company is satisfied with the results. In 2021 it introduced new bridal collections with man-made gemstones to other outlets, including True by Vera Wang LOVE line for Zales and LEO Legacy collection for Kay Jewelers. According to Drosos, the secret is to sell man-made gemstones to a “new, value-oriented consumer”. Jamie Singleton, president at Signet Jewelers, is another executive that sees the growing demand for lab diamonds. “This is very Millennial-based, and frankly they are the demographic that represents most of the shoppers in the bridal category anyway. The lesser cost of a lab-created diamond allows couples to buy a larger stone," she admitted to CNN.
According to Edahn Golan Diamond Research & Data, the volume of lab-grown diamonds in the retail stores rose 34% from 2020, and The Knot says that almost 25% of engagement rings in 2021 featured a center man-made gemstone. With over half of independent U.S. jewelers offering lab-created diamonds, the retail chains have some catching up to do, if they want to reach their full potential of sales during this season and further on. It’s not a question of if they will adopt lab-grown gems. With the biggest retail brands opening their stores to the man-made diamonds, the only question is who’s next?