While brick-and-mortar jewelers remain popular, more people are shopping for jewelry online. This is because millennials are more web-savvy than past generations and will often go with the cheapest price over loyalty to a local store. A recent study from Peter Gasca notes that nearly every big box retailer has an online presence. E-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay are still thriving, and nearly half of all purchases in 2016 were made online.
The Baby Boomer generation that has been responsible for the steady growth in retail jewelry stores is quickly approaching retirement age. Many of these owners will either close the doors of their businesses or sell them to a younger generation. While young people are not typically attracted to the industry, if these owners do decide to sell their business, there may not be another one in the family interested in continuing the business. This trend is not only damaging to family businesses, but it can also make it difficult for these businesses to adapt to the changes in the market.
Independent jewelers are following the trend. The concept of a homey atmosphere is gaining traction. While jewelry retail is tricky, it is a necessity for consumers to feel comfortable in the environment. Often, the store’s locked case means that customers must remove the jewelry to look at it. In addition to the “homey” vibe, Panowicz Jewelers has stations set up for cleaning and hand-sanitizing.
The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out many jewelry stores. Travel restrictions continued to affect the industry, as consumers shifted their spending to jewelry products. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton delayed its acquisition of Tiffany & Co. Meanwhile, the increased price of gold has affected profit margins for industry operators. In the end, the industry is expected to continue to grow.
Millennials, the new generation of jewelry buyers, are increasingly shopping online. While brick-and-mortar retail jewelers still hold their own niche, they’re finding that millennials don’t want to be bothered by salespeople hovering over them. In fact, one out of every 10 grooms now buys his or her engagement ring online. Millennials’ preference for a more convenient shopping experience could spell the end for brick-and-mortar retail jewelers.
The New York City jewelry district has its own unique lexicon and work culture. Located on 47th street, the Diamond District has its own legislation system. There’s the Diamond Dealers Club, an elite group of policy makers. You can also hear a language entirely unique to the diamond district – Yiddish, a German-speaking glossary. All of this diversity adds up to a unique atmosphere that makes the diamond district an interesting place to shop for jewelry.