A rosy picture of the U.S. jewelry market has emerged from a just-released survey conducted y KRC Research on behalf of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), with more than 53 million Americans, or 21 of the adult population, saying they plan to purchase a diamond between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.
Conducted November 5-7 by KRC Research, the survey assessed a nationally representative population of more than 1,000 U.S adults aged 18 and over.
According to the survey, men and millennial consumers are among the most likely to be in the market for a diamond this holiday season, with 27 percent of men planning to purchase a diamond, and 11 percent planning to buy an engagement ring.
Some 35 percent of millennials plan to purchase a diamond, and 13 percent plan to buy a diamond engagement ring, the survey noted.
SYNTHETICS CONFUSING MANY CONSUMERS
But the poll also presented some more worrying data, indicating that there remains clear confusion among diamond purchasers about the differences between natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds, including differences in value, rarity, physical growth structure and origin.
According to the results of the survey, some 44 percent of consumers were unaware of the significant differences in value, rarity, physical growth structure and origin between natural diamonds and laboratory-created stones.
Nonetheless, the survey also indicated at 71 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a natural diamond over a laboratory-created stone, when they learn the differences the two.
Another bright spot revealed by the survey was that 78 percent of American consumers are more likely to consider purchasing a natural diamond once they learn of the positive social, economic and wildlife conservation impacts of the diamond industry.
HOLIDAY SEASON STARTS STRONG, ESPECIALLY ONLINE
Actual data for the holiday season will only be tallied after December 31, but early indicators from the U.S. market are that sales in general reached record highs for the shopping period from Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, to Cyber Monday, the start of the following week.
Nationally, online sales of all products rose sharply, with Cyber Monday alone bringing in $7.9 billion, making it the single busiest online shopping day of the year, According to Adobe Analytics, sales through the end of Black Friday totaled $9.9 billion.
But, there continues to be a marked difference between the trends seen in online and brick and mortar sales. According to RetailNext estimated 151 million people visited a retailer in-person, which was 6 percent down on the number reported in 2017. In-store purchases are also estimated to have fallen by about 7 percent, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.