Jun 18, 2019

JCK 2019 Industry Report: US Retailer Confidence High; Online Sales, Economic Climate Still Major Challenges

JCK released its 2019 State of the Jewelry Industry Report during the JCK Las Vegas Show in early June, stating that as per its findings, confidence levels in the industry remain high even as online competition and the poor economic climate continue to be seen as the major challenges facing the jewellery industry. The report also noted that retailers have a greater focus on social media and non-traditional advertising while reaching out to consumers.

Noting that the Jewelry Industry Confidence Index fell only two percentage points to 86%, Reed Jewelry Group Senior Vice President Yancy Weinrich, who presented the report, said, "The consistency of positivity in the industry is exciting.” The study also reveals that 59% of the respondents were optimistic about the state of the general economy.

Weinrich added, "The report also indicates that our industry is strategically shifting its priorities based on market dynamics. With such robust optimism and strategic continuous improvement, the industry is looking forward to a bright future ahead."

However, confidence in the effectiveness of social media marketing fell 10% year over year, with only 72% expecting it to be one of their most successful business practices (82% in 2018), the report showed. Compared to this, only 57% would opt for traditional advertising and 44% would choose digital advertising.

The survey shows that 82% of respondents plan to advertise on social media and 61% will utilize online advertising.

In terms of jewellery trends, most retailers identified stacked rings as the top choice, followed by Alternate Engagement Rings, Layering and Heart-themed jewels.

The report, which highlights key trends and important priorities in the US jewellery industry, is based on a survey conducted by MRI-Simmons of over 500 industry respondents. This comprised primarily of retailers and included a sample of manufacturers, designers and wholesalers. 81% of survey respondents have been in the jewellery business for 11+ years, JCK said. 

Other key results include:

Top Challenges – consistently ranked in similar order to 2018.

o Online Competition – 28%

o Overall Economic Climate – 23%

o Lack of Consumer Demand – 15%

o Lack of Millennial Demand – 11%

Most Commonly Identified Strategies to Overcome Digital Dilemmas – Social media replaces the improvement of in-store buying experience at the top.

o Connecting with clients via social media – 46%

o Non-traditional advertising – 39% 

o Changing Inventory Buying Habits – 37%

o Improving in-store experience – 33%

 o Investing in technology innovation – 16% 

Key Trends 

o Lab-Grown Diamonds

* 86% report price as leading purchase consideration

* Reasons for refusal to purchase fairly evenly split between preference for “real”, “natural” and enduring “value”

o Types of Jewellery Producing Most Customer Concerns

* Lab Grown Diamonds – 61%

* Conflict Diamonds – 60%

* Responsibly Sourced Jewels – 37%