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De Beers’ Latest Insight Report Finds Diamonds Will Matter A Lot In The New Normal |  August 10, 2020 (0 comments)


London, UK—Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, on Monday shared key insights for the diamond trade in advance of the upcoming holiday gifting season and in the context of COVID-19, based on the findings of a comprehensive consumer research recently undertaken in the US, China and India. The results were published in the company’s Diamond Insight Global Sentiment Report and shared in a virtual keynote for Luxury by JCK. Image: De Beers Diamond Insight Global Sentiment Report

Very good news for jewelers: consumer desire for diamonds remained strong in all three markets, and sentiment is improving as consumers adjust to the ‘new normal’ wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The research surveyed 2,800 men and women ages 20-65 with household incomes of at least $75,000 in the United States, and a similar demographic in China and India. It examined a range of consumer indicators, including how they were feeling in the current environment, gifting intentions for the holiday season, and preferences for engaging with brands and retailers over the coming months. 

Millennials in particular are considering diamond jewelry purchases this holiday season, says De Beers' research.

Key findings include:

Chinese consumers lead the way in feeling like normal. U.S. and Indian consumers are still feeling much more fragile, but even they are starting to get used to the situation and find a path toward their new normal, says De Beers' report.

“This research, undertaken in three of the largest consumer markets for diamonds, highlights a number of important insights for diamond jewelry retailers as we enter the key end-of-year selling season,” said Cleaver. "While it clearly demonstrates that consumer desire for diamonds is as strong as it has ever been, holiday communications to consumers should focus on the power of diamonds as inherently beautiful miracles of nature, to convey emotional meaning, gratitude for loved ones and expressions of self-reward, all of which bring joy and positivity in a time when it is desperately needed.

“While the external environment remains uncertain in this unprecedented moment in time, we have the unusual opportunity to build even more lasting and meaningful connections with consumers at the culmination of a year when we’ve all been reminded that we cannot take our precious relationships, or even human connections, for granted.”

Consumers are more focused on acquiring classic pieces that will stand the test of time, says De Beers' research.

Separately, Yoram Dvash, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, sent a letter to members last week expressing some of the same optimism Cleaver sees. While he acknowledged the first half of the year was almost a complete washout for the diamond industry with some centers seeing declines of 70% to 80% in imports and exports, there now are signs of recovery.

"It is clear that the responsible policy of De Beers and Alrosa of limiting production and flexibility toward customers, along with the limited capacity of the Surat manufacturing center, has had a positive effect on the diamond pipeline.

Here are some signs that promise a light at the end of the tunnel:

All of the above are reasons for optimism. In the meantime, enjoy your summer holidays and come back refreshed and rejuvenated. The coming holiday season promises to be a busy one."

But despite the optimism expressed by Cleaver, Dvash, and others, there are still problematic underlying issues in the industry. In his most recent blog post, diamond analyst Edahn Golan points out that despite a surge in jewelry sales in June, revised U.S. Department of Commerce figurs show jewelry sales still shrank 14.9% in the first half of 2020, and jewelry in general has been losing share of wallet since 2006. June sales figures show rocketing volume but not as many dollars, signifying that consumers don't want to spend as much as they did before.

Ultimately, says Golan, the market is coming back, just as both Cleaver and Dvash have said. But he emphasizes that the industry will have to be attuned to what customers want--likely lower priced goods--and be ready to supply it and provide strong messaging that we have what they want.

"We need to keep our collective ears wide open to what our clients really want and need. Marketing absolutely needs to be in place – powerful, precise, engaging, and effective," he says.

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