Bridal jewellery sales have been significantly strong for jewellery retailers in Chester throughout 2016.
During a visit to meet independent jewellers and multiples in the city, the majority of stores Professional Jeweller spoke to named the bridal market as its strongest growth area.
For Mappin & Webb, classic four and six claw rings with lower settings are the order of the day. Store manager Gary Worley comments: “I think the days of half Tiffany and Tiffany have gone. It’s a little bit more style. And for our bridal, it’s very geared up to the fact that we know at some stage you’ll be getting a wedding band, we know that they have to sit together.”
Alongside a rise in people looking for lower settings and a bridal rings that match, Worley also identifies a return to single stone engagement rings. He explains: “We’re beginning to get a swing back to that single stone. I think for a while it was about making it fancier, but I think a lot of people are coming back to that classic brilliant cut. The growth is actually on diamond wedding bands, more and more people are wanting a really simple engagement ring and then have a diamond wedding ring. There’s a definite growth towards that.”
Worley also remarks a shift in the way consumers shop, we couples more likely to come in together to look for an engagement ring then a man searching solo.
For Boodles coloured diamonds continue to sparkle for the brand. Store manager Andrew Musgrave reveals a recent increase in interest in pink, blue and yellow diamonds is currently being enjoyed by the firm. Boodles has is also seeing a growing trend in long necklaces, although that may partly be dictated by the company which designs its own collections.
Richard Hogben, director of independent jewelllery retailers, Waltons, says bridal and diamond jewellery remains strong, but a slow move back towards yellow gold is emerging.
Hogben explains: “In terms of trends I think diamond and bridal jewellery is very strong and also coloured stones. Sapphires are strong, we’ve seen a growth in that area and we’re starting to move more products in that direction. We’ve found younger couples, for example, have maybe been buying sapphire and diamond engagement rings that maybe they haven’t done for 10 or 15 years.”
Conversely Jason Rigby, director of Rigby Jewellers, when it comes to the diamond engagement ring market, while there is a slight move away from white, it’s still leading the way.