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Consumers Demand Discounts Even When Buying Diamonds Amid Inflation

Consumers Demand Discounts Even When Buying Diamonds

As consumers continue to be concerned about their financial situations, shoppers are looking for deals and discounts even when making major purchases such as buying diamond jewelry.

Signet Jewelers, the world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer, shared on a call with analysts Thursday (June 13) discussing its first quarter fiscal 2025 earnings results how customers’ demand for promotional offers is fueling loyalty program engagement.

“We only launched [our loyalty program] a couple of years ago, but we are growing it quickly,” CEO Gina Drosos said. “We had 25% new users come into the loyalty program just in Q1, and we had a 50% increase in the number of loyalty members — the active loyalty members who made a purchase. So, we’re really now able to use this combination of our consumer data platform, our personalized marketing content and messaging to laser target our customers.”

Chief Financial Officer Joan Hilson noted that competitors have stepped up their promotional activity, prompting consumers to expect some level of discounting. Against this backdrop, the retailer is using its loyalty program to mitigate losses from these offers.

“We’re increasingly offering targeted value opportunities to the right customers at the right time,” Drosos said. “That allows us to reduce broad-scale discounting and instead be much more targeted.”

Diamonds are not the only big-ticket purchases that consumers are seeking deals on. Shoppers have been hesitant to purchase furniture, for instance, leading companies to offer prices “up to 50% off” and provide “very aggressive deals in clearance,” as Lovesac President and Chief Operating Officer Mary Fox said on an earnings call with analysts in April. Plus, Big Lots shared last week that in the face of shoppers’ budgetary pressures, it is seeing consumers hold off on furniture purchases altogether for the time being.

Other luxury retailers are also seeing increased demand for loyalty offerings. Nordstrom in May touted consumers’ positive reception of its Nordy Club rewards program.

Solution providers, too, are seeing shopper demand for rewards for upscale purchases. Cash back platform Rakuten announced weeks ago that, later this year, it will launch its Rakuten+ membership program focused on rewards for purchases from designer brands.

“Rakuten+ offers a distinctive opportunity for designer brands to connect with some of Rakuten’s most active and loyal members who consistently shop and spend more with each purchase,” Rakuten Rewards Chief Revenue Officer Julie Van Ullen said May 30. “By partnering with Rakuten+, these brands can tap into a unique value proposition within an exclusive luxury bubble.”

Overall, many consumers are driven by discount seeking. The PYMNTS Intelligence report “Consumer Inflation Sentiment: The False Appeal of Deal-Chasing Consumers,” which drew on a survey of over 2,100 U.S. consumers, revealed that 46% of retail shoppers actively are motivated by deals, willing to shop wherever they find the lowest prices.

Higher-income consumers can be the most deals-motivated shoppers of all. The PYMNTS Intelligence report “Personalized Offers Are Powerful — but Too Often Off-Base” found that 89% of high-income consumers (those who earn more than $100,000 annually) are very interested in receiving personalized offers. This share is higher than the 83% of middle-income ($50,000-$100,000) and 74% of low-income (less than $50,000) shoppers who said the same.

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