Ronnie VanderLinden

IDMA President

Revenge spending

June 11, 2021 – Summer is upon us, and the countdown to the holiday sales season has begun.

In earlier, ‘normal’ times, the above sentence would have been greeted with a shrug and the remark, “So what else is new?”

Not anymore.

Now, this plain sentence, “Summer is upon us, and with that, the countdown to the holiday sales season has begun,” needs to be complemented by “and we’re counting our blessings.”  

We really should.

The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) sent an email earlier this week, reporting on recently obtained diamond industry data about current diamond jewelry sales in 2021. During the first half of the year, US diamond jewelry sales emerging from the pandemic (March-May) grew 30 percent compared to 2019. In addition, they tripled compared to the same period in 2020.

Those sales were “heavily supported by millennial shoppers, both male and female.”

The data also showed that throughout 2020, diamond jewelry sales had increased as consumers “were apt to purchase items that carry value and meaning during the pandemic. This trend has persisted in full force as the pandemic lifts and people spring back into life’s celebrations and pleasures.”

Many of you know my fondness for the word “rollercoaster.” It seems to define the character of our business cycles. But is the rough ride over yet?

In Israel, the diamond industry and trade are back at work. The country has successfully created herd immunity through an intense and aggressive vaccination campaign. The US and Europe are well on their way to reaching the same pinnacle. During the past week or so, India seems to be turning its ship around as the number of infections is dwindling. All in all, great news.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is not to take anything for granted. Of course, the NDC’s numbers are encouraging. However, the results of the upcoming holiday sales season are anything but guaranteed! 

The past months’ consumer spending spree resulted from “revenge spending.” People traveled less or not at all. Instead, money that otherwise would have been spent on trips was spent on new cars, new phones, other electronic gadgets, and, yes, diamond jewelry.

Will diamond jewelry continue to sell well? In part, that’s very much up to how well we promote the product and ensure diamonds are on people’s minds.

The NDC is on the right track. Due to its investment in consumer market research, we know much more about the makeup of the various segments with the means – and the mindset – to purchase diamond jewelry.

Therefore, ensure you are current with the latest industry data and trends. Listen to your retail clients and keep the lines of communication open. Pull instead of push. In other words, more than ever before, consider your retail and manufacturing customers as partners in achieving market growth.

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