Industry / Retail / Technology

In First Public Quarter, Brilliant Earth Says Sales Rose 33%


In its first quarter as a public company, Brilliant Earth Group reported a sales increase of 33% for its third quarter of 2021, which ended Sept. 30.

Overall sales for the quarter totaled $95.1 million. It also posted net income of $4 million and an adjusted EBITDA of $13.6 million. Its gross margin increased from 43.2% to 50.4%.

In a conference call following the release of its financial results, CEO Beth Gerstein said the San Francisco–based e-tailer aims to be the “fine jeweler of choice for millennial and Gen Z jewelry consumers.”

She boasted her company has numerous competitive advantages that will help it reach that demo.

“The industry is highly fragmented,” she said, “with 65% of it made up of independents that lack the technology and resources to compete at our level, and mall operators that are faced with antiquated, inventory-heavy store formats in outdated malls with declining foot traffic.”

Though Gerstein referred to her company as “disruptive” and “digital first,” it is also continuing expanding into brick-and-mortar. It currently has 14 showrooms, including its latest space in New York City. Brilliant Earth aims for a “footprint of fewer than 100 showrooms,” which is about what rival Blue Nile is also aiming for.

Gerstein again declined to break down the company’s sales of natural versus lab-grown diamonds but added the average order value of engagement rings had increased. The company’s overall average value is $3,301, a 2.8% increase over last year’s $3,210.

She said her company was increasingly expanding into fine jewelry, and its fine jewelry sales had increased 100% over last year.

It recently introduced a new ring stacking visualization tool, which allows customers to mix and match styles and products in different ways, she said.

She called branded jewelry “a really big opportunity” and “the fastest-growing segment within fine jewelry.”

Gerstein also considers its differentiated products a competitive advantage.

“Two-thirds of our products are proprietary to us in terms of that design,” she said. “You think about offerings like blockchain[-tracked diamonds], for example. These are unique offerings to us. I think that because of that, we’re able to command higher prices.”

She noted that the e-tailer, which primarily uses recycled gold, was giving support to Pure Earth, which is developing mercury-free mining efforts for artisanal miners. It also recently introduced a Fairmined jewelry collection to support artisanal gold mining cooperatives.

Its guidance predicted continued growth. It forecast 2021 sales will end up in the $366 million–$369 million range, a significant jump from its 2020 revenue of $251.8 million.

(Photo courtesy of Brilliant Earth)

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By: Rob Bates

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