1990: U.S. Diamond Sales Seem To Be Encouraging For Diamond Investors
The eyes of the diamond world are now focused on jewelry sales in the US, since there is little hope for any bright spots from Japan and the Far East.
Initial reports from retailers across the country sound promising so far. One such report from the International Council of Shopping Centers boasted a 14.1% gain on last year’s jewelry sales in the first week of December.
Jewelers contacted by DRB offered different accounts — with some stores doing very well and still others hoping for a surge of business in the last few days before Xmas. But it’s clear that the ‘97 season will be a good one for most jewelry retailers as well as other purveyors of luxury items. End of year results are expected to exceed those of 96’, but the question remains as to whether this will be enough to compensate for the lackluster international sales.
De Beers’ ‘97 sales are expected to fall short of last year’s $4.834 billion, despite the promising first half ‘97 results of $2.88 billion. While this is clearly not such good news for De Beers’ shareholders, it is good news for the trade — as it shows that De Beers is doing its job of keeping supply and demand in proper balance. This is something they no doubt will have to continue to do in 1998. While this may not alleviate the profit squeeze which manufacturers are complaining about, these same manufacturers may ultimately find themselves grateful to De Beers for preventing an industry-wide drop in prices.
In 1998 more than ever, all segments of the diamond industry will need to cooperate.