Despite a drop in tourist spending in the U.S. and protests in Hong Kong slowing sales, American luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co still beat estimates on its quarterly profits, although the company’s revenue fell short, it announced in its earnings report on Wednesday.
Tiffany’s relatively successful performance contrasts with the widespread idea that young people aren’t buying as many diamonds as they used to. While Tiffany & Co doesn’t represent the entire jewelry industry, it still provides an interesting look into how the diamond industry is responding to changing tastes.
Currently, the jewelry industry as a whole is struggling. It shrunk 4% between 2017 and 2018, and last year alone, 852 U.S. jewelry retailers shut down, according to a report from the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT).
While the diamond industry is expected to see growth in coming years, experts say the real determining factor will be whether millennials have a change of heart about buying these historically sought-after stones.
Why millennials are buying fewer diamonds
In 2016, The Economist asked in a tweet: “Why aren’t millennials buying diamonds?” The responses varied, but a majority of responses had to do with debt, stress over money and how expensive diamonds are.
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