As we approach the all-important JCK Las Vegas show, the jewelry industry is feeling upbeat and confident about business in the year ahead, according to the first JCK State of the Jewelry Industry Report, a comprehensive survey conducted by noted market research firm GfK MRI.
Headlining the survey is the JCK Jewelry Industry Confidence Index (JICI), a specially designed measurement of trade sentiment. This year’s JICI stands at a robust 88—which means that 88 percent of jewelry industry professionals are either very or somewhat optimistic about their business prospects for the next 12 months.
The JCK State of the Jewelry Industry Report was created by querying more than 500 JCK readers and JCK Las Vegas show attendees, including retailers, manufacturers, and designers. According to the findings:
—57 percent of respondents feel optimistic about the state of the general economy
—46 percent report that the economy is better now than it was a year ago, and only 20 percent believe it’s worse
—41 percent forecast even more favorable conditions 12 months from now, versus 22 percent who expect things will get worse
—32 percent ranked alternative engagement rings as the No. 1 product trend in 2018, while 66 percent ranked them in the top three
—19 percent report that they sell lab-grown diamonds, and of those, 78 percent anticipate sales of the man-made goods will increase in 2018.
Of course, survey respondents were also clear-eyed about the challenges the industry continues to face. Three out of four retail respondents say they are either seriously or somewhat concerned about the future of brick-and-mortar stores. When asked their top business challenge, 74 percent ranked online competition as a top-three challenge, and nearly half of respondents (47 percent) put it on top.
The survey also asked jewelers what they’re doing that’s working—and a whopping 81 percent cited social media marketing as a top business practice.
Among the other topics covered in the report:
—What are jewelers’ hottest selling categories? What once-hot items are losing ground?
—What do retailers expect their hottest sellers to be in the year ahead?
—To what degree are millennials really a challenge for jewelers?
—Do jewelers want their children to join the business?
—What are industry members’ opinions about lab-grown diamonds
—Are more consumers inquiring about responsibly sourced jewelry?
—Is sexual harassment a big problem in the jewelry business?
—How do respondents feel about hot-button issues such as tax reform, immigration, and protectionist policies?
The results of the JCK State of the Jewelry Industry Report will be presented at an Industry Trends breakfast, held during JCK Las Vegas, on Friday, June 1, 7:30–9:30 a.m. in the South Seas Ballroom (level 3), at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Reed Jewelry Group senior vice president Yancy Weinrich will host the event, presented with Signet, which will also include a networking breakfast, presentation of the Jewelers’ Choice Awards, and a keynote from the CEO of Signet Jewelers, Virginia Drosos.
More information on the event can be found here.
The JCK State of the Jewelry Industry Report was commissioned by Advance Local’s Headline Studio, which publishes JCK and JCKonline.com on behalf of Reed Exhibitions.
Top: Hewn ring in 18k yellow gold with 1.29 ct. oval rose-cut pink sapphire and 0.12 ct. t.w. rubies and pink, yellow, green, and blue sapphires; $3,500; Jennifer Dawes Design