The 9th Edition of the first ever virtual Forevermark Forum concluded on 20th August with a press conference addressed by Sachin Jain, Managing Director, De Beers India; Stephen Lussier, Forevermark Chairman and Executive Vice-President, Consumer and Brands, De Beers Group; and Nancy Liu, CEO, Forevermark.
Forevermark’s Virtual Forum for the B2B trade was an industry first, held from 18th-20th August, 2020. It was attended by 8,200 authorised partners, jewellers, diamantaires and manufacturers from 41 countries. Retailers from 430 cities in India attended the Forum as well. Sachin Jain noted, “It was a great technologically-driven experience. We need to adopt some of the learnings from it and connect efficiently going forward.”
From Forevermark’s India perspective, 2019 was its best year where the brand sold 2.5 lakh diamonds, totalling 60,000 carats.
Jain announced that by this year end, Forevermark would set up next-gen boutiques targeted at millennials where a combined luxury and technology experience would be the differentiating factor.
About the gradual revival of consumer demand, Lussier said, “We have every reason to be optimistic about the future of jewellery. We are seeing consumer demand back in China, US and to some extent in India.”
Jain added, “January and February 2020 were strong months, but then because of the lockdown, April and May were a washout. From June to mid-August, we have seen a 30-70% recovery across metros and tier II and III towns respectively. This year will be a ten-month operation where we could see a strong Q4 in terms of diamond jewellery sales.”
To further encourage growth and better understand the Indian consumer, Forevermark also shared the results of an in-depth piece of research that the company had undertaken to understand current consumer sentiment. The report revealed that while Indian consumers remain cautious of how they are spending, their appreciation for diamonds remains very strong. It also showed that since jewellery is woven into the fabric and rituals of festivity and celebration, it is highly prioritised among luxury spending categories, and acquiring diamonds for gifting or for self-purchase remains a top preference for young women. The report stated that the market is improving, and people have embraced living in the new normal. Another positive statistic shared was that online consumption is at an all-time high, reinforcing the importance of Forevermark’s e-tail proposition for consumers.
Nancy Liu revealed, “As lockdowns ease in China, there are clear signs that consumer footfalls in stores are increasing. Retailers are observing that conversion rates have doubled because of targeted buying. Consumers are seeking timeless classic pieces with more solitaire-centric designs.”
Caption: Diamond ring from the Forevermark Red Carpet 2020 collection, by Diamond Tree.