Independent jewelers are increasingly turning toward the luxury end of the business, leaving the midmarket behind, Signet CEO Virginia Drosos told the Goldman Sachs 24th Annual Global Retailing Conference on Sept. 6.
“Most of the growth among independents comes at the higher-end, or…the luxury tier of that market,” she said. “As midmarket players, we don’t mind having a luxury tier because it helps to set value in the category.”
She added that while there are “fewer and fewer” midmarket independents, “this luxury tier of independent jewelers is here to stay.”
She noted that the rate of closures of independent stores had slowed a bit, and after a few flat years, the jewelry market is starting to see “low single-digit growth.”
Other points she made during her presentation:
– Signet currently claims about 13 percent of the U.S. jewelry market, more than double the share of its closest competitor.
– Company research has found that 80 percent of millennials buy diamonds when they get engaged, roughly equal to previous generations. However, it’s found greater involvement with women in the purchase process.
– Among both millennials and non-millennials, jewelry remains a top-three item that people want as a gift.
– Signet’s research shows that 85 percent of jewelry is purchased at brick-and-mortar stores, and at least 90 percent of bridal purchases still involve a store visit.
(Image courtesy of Signet)