IDMA-dinner-27323 (71)

Ronnie VanderLinden

IDMA President

Back from Las Vegas

I have just returned from the Vegas shows. I loved seeing, meeting, and greeting customers, colleagues, and friends, networking and socializing (during the many dinners and events), and most importantly for all of us there, doing business.

I can guess our readers’ first questions: “How did diamonds do?” and “What did people talk about?”

Of course, the answers to your questions depend on whom you speak with and what diamond category they sell or buy. Most selling larger stones were happy. But our “bread and butter goods” seem to be trailing behind. Generally speaking, the jury is still out on the shows, as you will read in the two articles about the shows in issue 437 of WINC. I am sure that by next week, we’ll have a much clearer picture. As a reminder, some negotiations start at the shows and conclude after the show. All in all, I felt everyone I met was in an upbeat mood, looking forward to vacations and the upcoming holiday season. Let’s stay positive!

But one topic was clear: Lab-grown diamonds seem to have and continue to grab attention. Is it because of the ongoing economic downturn? At the same time, whether it was about natural diamonds or lab-grown diamonds, sustainability, provenance, and origin were some of the buzzwords at the shows’ meeting rooms or events.

Here is food for thought: can retailers tell and sell the diamond story (the good that natural diamonds do throughout the world) while including some of those buzzwords to the consumer? Or will the consumers first look at the price and the bang they get for their buck? Regardless, the positive story needs to be told over and over again! We are all in it together!

Last year, McKinsey launched a new email newsletter, “Mind the Gap, a curated read for Gen Z and their Z-curious colleagues.” In its latest issue, it said that three years ago, Gen Z and Millennial consumers had expressed great willingness to pay more for sustainable goods.

However, the current cost-of-living crisis is eroding Gen Z’s willingness to purchase sustainable products, according to a recent survey published on WWD (Women’s Wear Daily).
The publication said that sustainably made products – everything from clothes to food to cosmetics—often carry a price premium. “These two generations [Gen Z and Millennial] say that they are being let down by sustainable brands that aren’t providing them with economical price points. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they will give priority to money-saving options rather than selecting an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative.”

As noted above, McKinsey’s research shows “that the bulk of consumers of all age groups are prioritizing price, quality, and convenience. Compare that with just three years ago, when consumers expressed a greater willingness to pay more for sustainable goods.”

In other words, we have a lot of work to do. It is encouraging to note that the diamond industry, slowly but surely, is stepping up its support for the Natural Diamond Council’s work. Without the NDC’s work, we’ll have a hard time telling and selling a convincing diamond story to the consumer!

In closing, I’d like to call your attention to the World Diamond Council’s (WDC) work and the recently revised System of Warranties – SoW. Today, it is increasingly more important than ever that your company implements the WDC’s System of Warranties. If you haven’t adopted the revised SoW into your company’s code of practices yet, please do! I have!

More Blog Posts