Despite A Third Covid Winter, US Retail Sales Are Jumping
It would have been impossible to predict the ripple effect the Covid-19 virus and global pandemic has had on the retail economy. What the world initially thought would be the demise of brick and mortar businesses, ended up being an opportunity for them to pivot and get to the core of what their consumers were looking for.
For many consumers, it was a moment of realization-- that when it comes to buying something as personal and monumental as an engagement ring, in-person is always the best option.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), "US retail sales rose in September 2021 as consumer fears over the Covid-19 Delta variant redirected spending toward goods rather than services. However, it’s possible September spending could have grown even more if not for the shipping bottleneck at US ports. Overall, the September report is very promising for a strong finish for the year. In September alone, sales increased year on year in all nine of the categories the US Census Bureau monitors. The clothing and accessories segment — which includes jewelry — had the highest growth, up 23%.”
This data tells us that people are choosing to celebrate major life milestones now more than ever. If nothing else, being caught in a pandemic has forced each of us to realize the fragility of life, and why spending it and celebrating with those with love should never be taken for granted.
Even during the height of lockdown, when people were hesitant to see family, we found that our customers still opted to come in person in order to learn about the diamond buying and ring creation process. Our incredible customers still wanted to see and touch and purchase in person. They wanted to get to know our team and build a level of trust. These are the reasons why in-person diamond shopping can never be replaced by a website’s algorithms or AI bots.
Logistically speaking, a diamond should be inspected top to bottom with a magnifying glass by both the jeweler and the buyer, so you have a clear understanding of what you’re actually purchasing. An online website has no pressure to offer you a top quality diamond at a reasonable price since there is no official face to the brand. No one person's name or livelihood is on the line. A much different scenario for local retailers.
Last March, Blue Nile, one of the largest online retailers of diamonds, announced plans to grow its showroom presence from five to 55 locations within the next three years. Others are also dipping their toes back in the showroom waters, according to The International Council of Shopping Centers, as some things just don’t translate well to an online shopping experience.
As a company, we’ve always believed in the value of in-person shopping, especially as it relates to something as important and meaningful as an engagement ring. Ten years ago, when La Bijouterie was formed, we made the purposeful decision to open a brick and mortar location, not an online store, because we value the importance of helping customers in person, especially when making one the biggest and most emotionally charged decisions of their lives. It seems as though today’s consumers value the same.
Want to learn more about our thoughts on purchasing a diamond online? Check out our previous blog post, “5 Reasons to Think Twice Before Buying a Diamond Online”.
There is no denying the retail industry is alive and well. At La Bijouterie, our sole purpose is to help couples achieve a milestone moment in their lives any way we can. We believe in quality over quantity, and educating always. Before pulling the trigger on such an important decision, book a no stress 30 minute 1:1 appointment.
At Your Service,
Founder, La Bijouterie
How A New Tax Law is Impacting Online Diamonds Retailers
Thinking about purchasing a diamond through an online retailer? Well you might want check out the new tax law that just passed before doing so. As of December 1, 2018, online retailers will need to begin collecting and remitting sales tax for online orders placed by consumers.
This new mandate comes from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this past June 2018, in the legal battle betweenSouth Dakota v. Wayfair. The outcome will have a major impact on many online retailers. Money-starved states are gearing up to require online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on purchases made by residents—a skill only about one-third of the largest online retailers have in place for all 45 states where there is a sales tax, according to exclusiveInternet Retailer research.
According toJason Brewer, Executive Vice President, Communications and State Affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, “In putting new online sales tax laws into effect, the states are reclaiming their authority over sales tax collection. States, in their own way, are implementing either via regulation or statute what they need to promote or compel sellers to comply.”
But not to worry- you didn’t lose your opportunity to purchase a reasonably priced diamond. As a matter of fact, it’s an all too common misconception that purchasing a diamond online is cheaper than ordering one through a brick and mortar retailer. This misconception stemmed mostly from the lack of sales tax for online purchases. The truth is, there’s a lot more to consider than just the listed price on the website. Check out our recently blog post titled:5 Reasons to Think Twice Before Purchasing a Diamond Online to understand why.
At La Bijouterie, our goal is to find a diamond that makes sense for you. There is no hard upsell, and we often shy customers away from buying more expensive diamonds if they’re not the best value.Curious to learn more?Book an appointment today and check out our reviews onYelp. We’re here to help!