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Bridal Industry Resilient Despite Tough Economic Times



NEW YORK , Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- While the state of the global economy has taken a toll on most Americans, there's one group that is more optimistic than ever - today's bride. A recent study conducted by Modern Bride magazine showed that instead of reducing their wedding budgets, engaged couples have reprioritized and plan to spend their dollars on items that will last forever. On the top of the list is the honeymoon, photography and the engagement ring. Further, the Modern Bride survey also reported that 90% of brides said they are either keeping to their original wedding budget or plan to spend more.(1)

In fact, in less than ten years, the number of weddings is projected to increase by approximately 30 percent, Ken Gassman reports in a "State of the Jewelry Industry -- 2008 Jewelry Demand," for Idexonline.com.(2) And while the bridal industry appears to be resilient through tough economic times with no decrease in the number of weddings expected in 2009, there is a clear shift in where those dollars are now being spent. Modern Bride continued to report that 86% of brides surveyed said they are spending the same amount as six months ago or more on jewelry.(1) Now more than ever, brides are focused on quality over quantity when it comes to their bridal jewelry so it is no surprise that 81% of brides desire platinum, according to the Conde Nast Bridal Group.(6) Platinum is not only 30 times more rare than gold, but it is the most durable of all precious metals and will last a lifetime.

The Diamond Trading Company (DTC) reports that when it comes to jewelry, women prefer "fewer, but better" items. And in an interview on Diamonds.net, De Beers executive director, Stephen Lussier , explains that consumers are more likely to purchase items that hold emotional value. "Luxury items that are seen as emotionally important and enduring hold their value and are more competitive in this environment than other luxuries that can't meet those criteria."(3)

"Even in the current economy, this is the one jewelry purchase brides are unwilling to compromise. Today's bridal customer will make the investment to have a ring that lasts a lifetime," said Michael Flynn , sales associate for Tivol.

This is the perfect sales opportunity for jewelers and retailers focusing on the bridal industry and working with Platinum metal, which won't wear down like other metals and will not "chip" or wear over time like gold. A survey by "The Wedding Report" found that over 40% of brides and grooms considered "durability" to be a primary determining factor when purchasing a wedding band.(4)

With an increased focus on value and longevity, the type of metal is more important than ever and one of the most significant considerations for consumers purchasing bridal jewelry. "The Wedding Report" also reported that over 50% of couples ranked metal as an "important" or "very important" consideration for their engagement and wedding rings.(4) Platinum is the one metal that delivers the high quality and long-lasting features that brides and grooms are looking for today.

As a result, the jewelry industry has found creative ways to fill this consumer demand - savvy retailers are highlighting 3-Ring Bridal sets--an engagement ring and his and her wedding bands - as a package; and designers such as and Tacori and DeBeers are creating more lighter weight, lower priced Platinum jewelry. Online retailer, Blue Nile.com, features the high quality of platinum wedding bands starting as low as $255.00.

But according to Steven Fina of Michael C. Fina , retailers can do even more to highlight the benefits of platinum as a way to increase their own business:

"Although most consumers acknowledge that platinum is superior to other metals and deem it worth the cost, few retailers educate their clients as to what makes platinum so special. With platinum bridal purchases increasing dramatically over the last 5 years, this is a great time for retailers to tap into the platinum market and boost revenue," said Steven Fina , Vice President of Michael C. Fina .

"The Cost of Doing Business," a survey by the Jewelers of America, found that Platinum jewelry's gross margin ranks the metal well above the national average providing retailers with increased dollar profits during this economic period and, at the same time, helping to ensure long-term customer satisfaction. By communicating the intrinsic value of Platinum to the consumer, manufacturers and retailers are taking advantage of this trend toward "quality over quantity."(5)

About Platinum Guild International USA

Platinum Guild International, the marketing arm for the worldwide Platinum jewelry industry, is dedicated to promoting Platinum and its pure, rare and eternal qualities to the consumer and the jewelry trade. PGI has offices in each of the world's major jewelry markets, providing information, assistance and education on all aspects of Platinum jewelry. For further information please visit www.preciousplatinum.com.

(1) Modern Bride Magazine Survey January 2009 (2) Idexonline.com "State of the Jewelry Industry -- 2008 Jewelry Demand" January 2008 (3) Diamonds.net February 2009 (4) The Wedding Report January 2009 (5) National Jeweler Survey November 2006 (6) Conde Nast Bridal Group 2006

SOURCE Platinum Guild International


   







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