Fashion / Industry / Shows

What JCK’s State of the Industry Report Tells Us About Business


Parle sapphire ring
14k yellow gold Montana sapphire and diamond ring, $2,445; Parlé

This summer, JCK released its annual State of the Jewelry Industry Report (check it out in full here). Besides the main takeaway—that 82% of retailers take an optimistic view of how the industry is faring (up from 66% in 2020)—there was a lot to unpack. So, on opening day of JCK, JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky, news director Rob Bates, and leading jewelry marketing and communications consultant Jen Cullen Williams gathered for a JCK Talks conversation to parse some of the report’s findings for show attendees.

With a particular focus on trending jewelry categories, the speakers also provided valuable advice on how retailers might leverage the information going into the fourth quarter.

For example, the layering trend continues to thrive, but there is an imperative for retailers and designers to “show how to layer and sell in layers, so that the customer doesn’t have to style the necklaces or bracelets themselves,” said Williams. And when selling online, especially on Instagram, “create video content that allows for envisioning how the pieces can be worn together.”

Bates commented on the emergence of pandemic engagements. “There’s definitely going to be a lot more weddings next year, and that’s hugely helpful for the business,” he said. The speakers also noted the growing trend of women proposing to men.

Roberto demeglio stretch bracelets
Extensible stretch tennis bracelets with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires in 18k gold, $4,000–$6,000; Roberto Demeglio

“What we’re seeing culturally is a shift toward equality overall,” said Williams. As such, in the pandemic era, more and more women are purchasing jewelry for themselves. “Female self-purchasers have been a force for at least 15 years now, but it still seems like there’s room to grow in that market,” said Gomelsky.

“There are a lot more female-focused communities, organizations, and clubs designed to support women advancing in their careers and achieving financial independence,” said Williams. At the store level, she suggested partnering with a local women’s business association and hosting educational events about diamonds or estate planning.

And there’s a clear under-$500 sweet spot for self-purchasing women. For this, Williams suggested that retailers invest heavily in huggie hoops, pearl fashion jewelry, and stud earrings (sold as singles not pairs). Added Gomelsky: “The Zoom earring seems to have been replaced by the mask-friendly necklace. Walking the show, I have seen a lot of interesting necklace and pendant collections—and lots of people ringing in sales.” We’re here for it!

Top, from left: Panelists Rob Bates, Jen Cullen Williams, and Victoria Gomelsky (photograph by Camilla Sjodin)

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Amy Elliott

By: Amy Elliott

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