At mid-year, how has 2016 been so far and what’s ahead?
“So far 2016 has been very strong for us. I’m very happy how things are going with our strongest sales in bridal jewelry and custom. Bridal got a significant boost when we began advertising long-term financing for bridal jewelry. The campaign officially started in the fourth quarter of 2015, and we’ve been continuing that advertising message and methods this year with big results. Younger people don’t look at a lump sum and wonder if they can afford it. For them, they look at what a major purchase like an engagement ring will cost them in terms of monthly payments. Halo rings, especially those in more delicate designs, are still performing well for us and white metals are still strong. Our average diamond purchases range from three-quarters of a carat to one-carat. Most of that is in round brilliants and princess cuts to a lesser extent. We’re also doing well in custom work with Stuller’s CounterSketch and another vendor that is helping to create CAD renderings for customers. Also, we installed our Engagement Ring Rec Center, a standalone table with about 200 ring styles, secured to the custom-made case but still gives bridal customers the flexibility to try rings on. We sell a lot from this case. For the rest of 2016, we’re going to keep advancing the long-term financing message and add a couple of bridal events in the fall to keep up our momentum. I’m very optimistic for 2016.”