We’re With the Band
The 2011 Engagement & Jewelry Survey from The Knot Market Intelligence and the XO Group Inc. looks at couples’ buying behaviors for wedding bands. JCK highlights some key areas where retailers can profit.
Twenty-six percent of brides opt for custom looks, compared with 16 percent of grooms. Custom departments are booming—retailers returning to their roots as craftsmen couldn’t agree more.
Thirty-six percent of couples buy bands at separate retailers; 10 percent buy at least one band online (usually the guy’s). Wedding band weekends are a phenomenal way for retailers like Massachusetts’ Long’s Jewelers to get couples to commit to purchases together. There’s a larger selection, designers themselves are often present, and the events foster closeness and teamwork.
Only 22 percent of couples buy the bride’s band as a set with the engagement ring. Retailers need to do a better job of persuading couples to purchase wedding bands. If you can’t persuade them to buy bands with their engagement rings, at least give them incentive to return. At Montica Jewelry in Coral Gables, Fla., spending $5,000 or more on engagement rings earns a savings package valued at $1,000, including a $200 gift card toward a wedding band. Says owner John O’Rourke: “About seven of 10 engagement customers come back for their bands, mainly because of this.”
The cost of men’s bands has dropped 23 percent in two years, due in part to fewer choosing diamonds or all-gold, and more opting for titanium and tungsten carbide. Embrace the trend and boost profitability by upselling; suggest adding stripes of platinum or 18k gold.
See more at xogroupinc.com/tkmi.
Ring in 24k gold and silver with a 1.46 ct. culet-set-up polished rough diamond with 1.50 cts. t.w. melee; $9,620; Atelier Minyon, New York City; 646-478-7220; atelierminyon.com
Marriage isn’t perfect, and Alp Sagnak shows that in his engagement rings. “An imperfect diamond represents our individual character flaws that make us who we are,” says the Atelier Minyon designer, who debuted a bridal line at June’s JCK Las Vegas. It is Sagnak’s ability to highlight life’s rawest moments—”mistakes, flaws, and all”—with blackened metals and rugged finishes that brings unconventional brides to his Manhattan boutique. Three styles each of engagement and wedding rings are offered in 24k gold and silver (retail: $4,000–$50,000).