This holiday season, retailers have cause to be hopeful, as consumers look for reasons to spend money that they weren’t otherwise spending while in lockdown. This is called the revenge spend—a term you’ve probably been seeing all over the internet.
“You mean pent-up demand?” asks my economist husband, shaking his head. Well, yeah, I guess that’s exactly what it is—but revenge spending just sounds so much cooler.
Over the last month or so I’ve spoken with a number of engagement ring designers who have expressed very positive numbers during quarantine. Not only are people getting engaged, but, in fact, more people are doing so, due either to being able to save money faster or an accelerated relationship while stuck in quarantine. Plus, those who are shopping for engagement rings are spending a little more, because they’re not paying to dine out, go on vacation, and other things we used to do in our old lives.
I would assume this model can be applied to holiday spenders, the ones who haven’t just splurged on engagement rings. If they have the money to spend, and they’re really looking to spend it on something (burning a hole in the pocket, as my mom always used to say), what better gift for a loved one than a really special piece of jewelry? It’s a meaningful gift for the significant other one has ridden out quarantine with (and continues to do so). It’s the best way to say, “Hey, 2020 kind of sucked, but you’re still beautiful and so is this massive diamond tennis bracelet.”
It goes without saying that we won’t see all customers ready to spend a mint on jewelry this year—but they’ll still be buying. That meaningful, personalizable, talismanic jewelry we’ve been shouting about applies here majorly, so stock up on all price points.
But if you’re a business that can afford it this year, taking a chance on higher-priced items, especially if your clientele is accustomed to spending, might not be a bad idea. The holiday season is going to be huge for shoppers, spending that pent-up dime on gifts for loved ones and themselves, because everyone deserves it after this year.
There’s one caveat to this whole thing: If you’re going to stock high-end luxury jewels for the holidays, they’ve still got to be wearable. We’re still mostly lounging in sweatpants, after all, so the once-in-a-lifetime bib necklaces and vault-bound cuff bracelets probably aren’t your key items here—though they may appeal to some. What you want is incredibly high-quality, handcrafted jewels that are still wearable every day. Heavy gold bracelets, high-carat diamond stud earrings, big anniversary bands, one-of-a-kind pieces handmade by independent designers. Cocktail or “major” ring pieces may seem excessive, but I still think those are pretty fair game because you don’t have to stare at yourself in the mirror to admire it all day. It’s a fairly wide array of product, with the common thread of being relatively low maintenance.
These are but a few of the jewels just right for a revenge-spending spree.
Top: Straight No Chaser ring in 18k yellow gold and enamel with 3.05 ct. trapiche emerald and 2.31 cts. t.w. diamonds, $26,975; Ana KatarinaFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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