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An 'engagement gap' is to blame for a sharp drop in ring sales, America's largest jeweler says

Samantha Grindell   

An 'engagement gap' is to blame for a sharp drop in ring sales, America's largest jeweler says
  • The largest jewelry company in the US, Signet Jewelers, said its engagement ring sales dramatically decreased.
  • The company's president said a decline in dating during the pandemic created an "engagement gap."

The year 2022 saw a wedding boom — but that may be coming to an abrupt end, according to data from America's biggest jewelry company.

Signet Jewelers, the parent company for jewelry brands such as Kay Jewelers, Jared, and Zales, revealed its sales of engagement rings decreased dramatically in the 2023 fiscal year, CNN reported.

The outlet reported that Signet's president and chief consumer officer Jamie Singleton spoke of the declining sales at Signet Jewelers' investor day on April 18, citing an "engagement gap" as the cause of the decline.

As CNN reported, Singleton pointed out that there was a sharp decline in dating in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, and couples get engaged after 3.25 years of dating on average based on internal company research.

Because many people weren't dating for much of the year 2020, there were fewer couples getting engaged in 2022, and Signet expects the same for the duration of 2023.

"So what's happened over the past couple of years is what we anticipated and what we planned for," Singleton said, according to CNN. "Engagement jewelry sales were lackluster in fiscal 2023, and we expect them to remain so for the balance of fiscal 2024."

The loss is huge for Signet, as 50% of its overall sales come from bridal, according to CNN. The outlet also reported that Singleton said Signet's engagement ring sales will need to increase 25% by 2026 to reach the level of engagements they saw before the pandemic.

Singleton's announcement comes on the heels of David's Bridal filing for bankruptcy and laying off over 9,000 employees, pointing to trouble for the wedding industry as a whole in the wake of the pandemic.

But Singleton is optimistic engagement ring sales will return to pre-pandemic numbers based on the dating patterns the company is seeing.

"As people begin getting back out after the lockdowns, we monitored the return of dating," she said, according to CNN. "Dating, in fact, is up 8% to pre-Covid."