In the hardest hit economies, there is one category of fine jewelry that retailers rely on to prop up flagging sales of others: bridal. Most view diamond engagement rings and wedding bands as a perennial seller (since when does love take a holiday?). In fact, diamond engagement rings alone, according to the results of this survey, total 33 percent of retailers’ business.
To get an in-depth look at the bridal jewelry that American retailers are selling, JCK queried nearly 100 store-owner subscribers to our weekly electronic newsletters during October and November 2009. Ninety-eight percent of respondents described themselves as independent retail jewelers; just 2 percent ran jewelry franchises or chains. More than one-third had total annual sales of less than $500,000. Another two-fifths had sales between $500,000 and $2 million. The remaining one-quarter claimed sales in excess of $2 million.
The results of the survey reveal a jewelry industry heavily reliant on selling rings to couples in love. Nearly half of all respondents’ sales come from the bridal category, including engagement rings and wedding bands (dig deeper and we learn that wedding bands and remounts each account for 10 percent of sales). Meanwhile, a whopping 76 percent of jewelers do not sell branded diamonds, but, of those who do, a majority (53 percent) sold Hearts On Fire stones.
Additional research provided by Dana French, group research manager, Retail Division, Reed Business Information