Pandora launches lab-made diamond collection as US sales decline

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Dive Brief:

  • Joining a trend that is shaking up the industry, Pandora announced Tuesday that it is launching a lab-created diamond jewelry collection in the U.S. and Canada on Aug. 25 that includes recycled silver and gold, according to a press release.
  • The 33-piece Brilliance collection — featuring rings, necklaces, bangles and earrings — has diamonds created using 100% renewable energy, per the release. It launches following a pilot in the U.K. last year, which coincided with news the retailer would stop using mined diamonds.
  • Pandora released Q2 earnings on Tuesday, showing that U.S. sales were down 12% year over year, which the company attributed to the lack of stimulus checks this year. 2022 guidance was unchanged and organic growth was 3% compared to 84% in Q2 2021.

Dive Insight:

Pandora is expanding its lab-grown diamond offerings into a market that hasn’t performed well for it this quarter, demonstrating a sense of optimism that the new category can bring.

“Lab-created diamonds are just as beautiful as mined diamonds, but available to more people and with lower carbon emissions. We are proud to broaden the diamond market and offer innovative jewelry that sets a new standard for how the industry can reduce its impact on the planet,” said Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik.

The lab-grown diamond trend is one that emerged prior to the pandemic and has continued on a strong growth trajectory, according to management consulting firm Bain & Company. With environmental considerations among consumers growing, the category saw demand growth and price decreases relative to mined diamonds, per Bain’s 2021 to 2022 diamond industry report.

Other luxury retailers are getting involved with lab-grown diamonds as well. The luxury ventures arm of LVMH, which owns Tiffany & Co., participated in a funding round in June for lab-grown diamond company Lusix. Jean-Jacques Guiony, LVMH’s chief financial officer, said in an April earnings call that the company was working to replace its diamond sourcing from Russia — one of the world’s largest natural diamond suppliers — due to sanctions from the country’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Signet Jewelers struck a deal to acquire Blue Nile, a jewelry company that has a lab-grown diamond collection, for $360 million in cash earlier this month.

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