I am writing this letter with optimism and a certain measure of trepidation. We are all hoping for a strong holiday season that will help our industry regain some of the major losses of 2020, and put us back on track for growth in 2021. However, the COVID-19 crisis is still ongoing, and its health and economic effects will certainly be felt in holiday purchases, especially in the US market.
So what are the experts saying that we can expect? I prefer to highlight the optimistic forecasts:
- Millennial and Gen Z consumers will be more likely than other age groups to buy fine jewelry this holiday, according to a PGI study. That means that effective marketing of diamonds to younger consumers is more important than ever.
- More than 70% are willing to buy jewelry online. This trend has become even more pronounced since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
- While the pandemic has hurt the US economy, it has hit unevenly. The rich have unspent income and are likely to spend on luxury items, especially jewelry.
- Diamond jewelry has been capturing some of the spending usually reserved for travel. Buyers are upgrading existing jewelry and buying new pieces. Forevermark US has seen double-digit growth each month since July.
- De Beers research shows that the pandemic has made people more likely this season to give a significant gift to a loved one than before. CEO Bruce Cleaver says there is greater consumer interest in enduring beauty and classic designs, along with a growing demand for authenticity and sustainability.
All of the above show that jewelry, and especially diamond jewelry, will be very much on the minds of consumers in this holiday season. And that’s a very positive forecast, which I am happy to support.
However there are still unknowns. Not the least of these are the US elections, which are taking place at the start of the holiday season and are likely to impact the mood and behavior of consumers. We wish the US a smooth and peaceful election. And we wish the world’s largest diamond market a holiday season filled with hope, joy and lots of gift giving.
To our Indian colleagues I would also like to wish a joyous Diwali filled with abundant peace and prosperity.
Stay healthy and safe,