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US Consumers Still Prefer In-store To Online When Buying Diamonds, But Feeling Safe Is Key

De Beers Group’s second Diamond Insight ‘Flash’ Report also highlights a sense of optimism among diamond jewelry retailers for the fourth quarter

More than 62% of US consumers prefer to buy diamond jewelry at a physical store over buying online, as long as the environment is considered safe, according to new research published by the De Beers Group. This second of its Diamond Insight ‘Flash’ Reports, seeks to highlight the evolving consumer perspective in light of COVID-19.

Despite the pandemic, and the consequent growth in online diamond jewelry sales, consumers still prefer to shop in-store where they can receive expert advice and personal attention. This was the case even among digital-savvy Millennial and Gen-Z consumers, where 59% preferred the in-store experience.

The research, based on a survey of 500 adult Americans, also highlighted that safety in relation to health and hygiene is critical to ensuring consumers feel comfortable shopping in-store. Department stores were seen as the most trusted channel for ensuring appropriate safety measures by 39% of consumers, while independent jewelers were considered the second most trusted, at 21%.

When it came to specific safety measures, the three most important considerations for consumers were:
· Limiting the number of customers in the store (68%),
· Providing hand sanitiser (66%)
· Ensuring staff wear face masks and gloves at all times (64%)
· cleaning each piece of jewelry after being handled (53%)
· requiring customers to wear face masks (48%)
· having screens to separate customers and sales associates (42%).

Only four per cent of consumers said they would feel comfortable shopping with no safety measures in place.

The report also included a focus on retailer insights based on one-on-one interviews with jewelry retailers across the United States. This research highlighted a clear sense of optimism for the fourth quarter sales season; however, caution remained with regards to potential new outbreaks and the impact to consumer confidence as economic stimulus is wound up. It also highlighted that those retailers that have reopened following lockdown have experienced pent-up demand from consumers, driven by strong engagement ring sales, jewelry gifts being upgraded as an alternative to summer travel, and a stronger season than normal for graduation gifting.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “While consumers increasingly desire a diamond acquisition journey that blends the digital and physical, when it comes to making purchases, they still prefer the personalisation of the in-store experience, despite the pandemic. Those retailers that are able to provide a safe and welcoming in-store environment for consumers in what is a strange and unsettling time will be best placed to benefit in the weeks and months ahead. It is heartening to hear initial reports of positive demand for diamond jewellery as consumers emerge from lockdown and the industry starts preparing for the important end of year sales season.”


About De Beers
De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company and the world’s largest diamond producer by value. It has mines in four countries – Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa – and employs more than 20,000 people.The company was established in 1888 and is owned 85 per cent by Anglo American and 15 per cent by the Government of the Republic of Botswana. With its headquarters in London, it has unrivalled expertise across the diamond value chain – from exploration and production, to rough diamond sales and diamond jewelry retail. For more information, please visit www.debeersgroup.com.

AT: 07/10/2020 08:24:46 PM   LINK TO THIS NEWSLETTER
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