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Signet Jewelers Says Inflation, Job Uncertainty Slows Wedding Ring Sales

An expected post-pandemic resurgence in engagements may be delayed by today’s economic conditions.

High inflation and an uncertain labor market could lead couples to put off getting married, Gina Drosos, CEO of Signet Jewelers, the owner of Kay Jewelers and Zales, told Bloomberg in a report posted Wednesday (March 20).

Drosos said this on the same day that Signet Jewelers said it expects the number of engagements to increase 5% to 10% year over year in 2024, after previously forecasting that number to be 10%, according to the report.

If consumers are worried about their jobs or about paying more for rent or for gas, they are likely to delay their engagements for a few months, Drosos told Bloomberg.

On the other hand, if the Fed were to lower interest rates and consumer confidence were to consistently rise, the number of engagements could land on the high end of the company’s guidance, Drosos said, per the report.

The number of engagements announced in 2023 — 2.1 million — was the lowest number in years and remained well below the pre-pandemic average of 2.8 million, Drosos said, according to the report.

Signet Jewelers had previously expected more of an upswing in the number of engagements after the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on dating, the report said.

Among those who have gotten engaged, Signet Jewelers is seeing that consumers tend to reach for the best product they can afford when buying diamonds, Drosos said Wednesday during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

Across the December holidays and Valentine’s Day, the company saw a focus on lower-priced items.

“We believe consumers will remain focused on value this year as they make important tradeoffs in their budgets,” Drosos said during the call.

It was reported in July 2023 that while marriage rates are on the decline, the cost of the average wedding has gone up.

This trend could be due to the fact that wealthier people are getting married, the Financial Times reported.

Some polls indicate that the average American wedding costs $30,000, leading a number of companies to offer lifelines to people who want to save on their wedding and engagement, PYMNTS reported in July.