New York–Of the jewelers who responded to National Jeweler/Jewelers of America’s latest poll, 80 percent reported that their sales of diamond fashion jewelry have not grown in recent years.
Conducted between Sept. 29 and Oct. 11, the Product Pulse polled retailers about sales of diamond jewelry outside the realm of bridal. A total of 207 store owners responded.
Of those, nearly half (47 percent) said their sales of diamond fashion jewelry have stayed about the same over the past three years, while 33 percent reported declining sales.
Only 20 percent of respondents reported that their diamond fashion jewelry sales have increased over the past three years.
The survey also asked retailers to list the brands that are best-sellers in their stores and, as was seen in our recent surveys on gold and bridal, many jewelers just aren’t that reliant on outside brands anymore, particularly bigger brands.
Many said their top sellers are non-branded pieces, those made by independent designers, their own brand or custom pieces.
One of the survey-takers who wrote in “my own brand” provided this more specific reasoning: “I have worked over the years to build my own brand. Let’s understand–when shoppers are coming into independents, why do you suppose they do? Because we take more pride, deliver better results, service like they’re our family and love every minute of doing so. We create relationships first. It’s never about the sale. If we are good, (we) win.”
Three-quarters of respondents reported that their margin on diamond fashion jewelry was 31 percent or higher.
Another jeweler wrote, “We are phasing out our designer brands and doing mostly custom designs.”
Among those who did list specific brands, Allison-Kaufman was among the most mentioned, as were Hearts On Fire, Stuller, Gabriel & Co. and Roberto Coin.
The most common metal for diamond fashion jewelry was gold by far; 93 percent of survey takers said the majority of diamond fashion jewelry they sell is set in gold.
Only 5 percent sell a lot of diamond fashion jewelry set in silver and even fewer move much in platinum.