The Las Vegas jewelry show season injected some confidence back into the diamond trade, wrote Rapaport.
Rapaport highlighted the underlying factors currently influencing the market:
1. Trading is Stable but No Urgency to Buy
The market is functioning, and there is some confidence in US demand. Significantly, jewelers are adapting to shifts in consumer trends.
Savvy jewelers are developing omni-channel capabilities with social-media strategies in place, and are providing bespoke, customized services and products, which will carve their position in the market.
2. Suppliers Stuck with Inventory
Retailers are trying to protect their profit margins by passing that price reduction onto wholesalers and diamantaires, who are under pressure to generate cash flow. Golan added that average wholesale prices dropped 2% last year.
3. Change Is the Only Constant
Consumer-buying habits evolve and millennials relate to diamonds differently than previous generations, forcing retailers to rethink the way they interact with their customers and causing marketers to reinvent the way they tell the diamond story.
4. Adding Value Through Customization
Jewelers need to differentiate themselves, as millennials want their jewelry to reflect their individuality. This makes retailers provide more options for their customers, particularly as they offer bespoke jewelry-building tools on their websites.
5. An Expensive Show?
Trade show organizers also need to demonstrate their added value, and many diamantaires questioned the benefit of participating in “an expensive show” when visitor traffic was noticeably down.
For a successful show, suppliers needed demonstrate the added-value service they can provide their clients.